Story as at Monday afternoon, 3rd October
Medway Council has failed to report this year's Medway Test results to parents correctly, causing considerable distress to families. You will find the full story below, but first, here is a statement by Medway Council giving the current situation for concerned families, published 12.30 Monday.
The story up to the release of the above statement at noon on Monday (updated to take account of it)
Medway Test results are sent out by email after 4 p.m. on Friday 30th September, or by post to arrive the next day.
The Medway Test Pass Score is 513. Please note, as explained in my article 'Admission to Medway Grammar Schools' below, this does not mean the standard is any lower than last year's 521. The standard required is the same. The difference reflects the number of children taking the test And their abilities.
I run a Telephone Consultation Service to support and advise families living in Medway or Kent Local Authority areas, who are considering Review, looking at secondary school options, or thinking about chances of success at appeal, for schools in Kent or Medway Local Authorities.
The pages of this website also contain much free information about each of these issues
You will find details of each of the possibilities via the links below, or to the right of this article. You may wish to start with the page on Can I help you?
Individual Medway Secondary Schools. This contains information on each secondary school and academy. I am currently updating these pages. If the one you wish to consult is not up to date, please let me know and I will attend to it.
These pages also contain links to pages providing comment and data relating to school admissions....
For further information on all these headlines, read on…
The Medway Test pass mark for admission to Medway Grammar Schools in September 2016 is an aggregate of 521, slightly down on last year’s 525, but you can read nothing in to the annual variation of the pass mark as this is arrived at by a local standardisation of marks, as explained below and elsewhere and is a factor of the proportion of Medway children who decide to take the test, not the difficulty. There is further detail about pass rates below.
You will find a comprehensive survey of Medway Test arrangements and issues here, containing advice and information, with links through to Review Information and Advice and other articles.
I am afraid I am recovering from an operation and will not be able to offer any support to parents this autumn. To assist families trying to decide whether to go to Review, I offer what I hope is helpful advice below as an alternative.
This article reports on the full details of the Medway Test for entry to Medway grammar schools in September 2015, and explores the implications of the results.
To be eligible for entry to a Medway grammar in September 2015, children had to score an aggregate of 525 in the Medway Test. This comprises age-standardised papers in verbal reasoning, mathematics (score doubled up) and a single piece of English writing (also times two). So a child scoring 100 in VR, 95 in maths and 119 in English would pass with an aggregate of 528 made up of 100 + 2x95 + 2x119. There is no minimum score in each paper as in Kent.
Headline comments are that:
1)The figures confirm that the fall in numbers of children has bottomed out and rolls are again rising, which will come as a relief to those schools who have suffered from falling rolls in recent years. An increase of 130 children in the age cohort is a welcome 4% rise from 2013 for the schools most under pressure.
2) Even so, there is a fall in the number of boys taking the Medway Test, accompanied by a further increase in the proportion of girls to boys both taking the test and also passing, compared with the 2013 figures; see below.
3) There is also a fall in the number of boys being put forward for Review, a total of 36 children out of the 239 put forward being successful. This is only 1.2% of the total cohort, against a target of 2%, or 62 children. According to Medway Council: “The academic evidence supplied did not support a grammar assessment for the maximum 2% of the Medway cohort.” With growing concern over primary school standards in Medway, the inability to find another 26 children whose work is up to a grammar school standard only underlines the problems of literacy and numeracy in those schools.
4) I have highlighted before the built in prejudice of the Medway Test, showing a discrimination against both boys and younger children. For 2015 entry, the bias towards older children is similar to that in 2012, the previous time I analysed the figures, with 55% of passes going to children born in the first half of the year, and 45% in the second half of the year, on both occasions. Just 21% of boys in the cohort passed the Test this year, compared with 25% of girls.
5) Remarkably, every one of the top four schools by percentage pass rate are Catholic Primary Schools, these being the only Medway state schools scoring over 50% grammar school passes. This is in spite of the fact that Catholic schools are encouraged to support St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive, rather than the grammar schools.
6) The number of children from outside Medway, taking and passing the Medway Test continues to rise inexorably as Kent children hedge their bets by taking both tests, and London families increasingly look to Medway as an alternative, but the reality is that few of the latter actually arrive.
Medway Council is conducting a Review of the Medway Test at present and I would expect these issues to be central to the discussion, although I have raised most of them before with no response from the Council.
In the remainder of this article, I expand on these points, as well as provide the relevant statistics on which the article is based.....
This has been a particularly busy admission season for me, primarily because the change in structure and scoring pattern of the Kent Test have considerably increased uncertainty about chances of access to super selective schools and appeal success to grammar schools across the county. My news item on the Kent Test saw the fastest rate of hits ever on the website, totalling 7000 in just over a week. The article on the Medway Test, with about a sixth the number of applicants has already attracted over 3000 visitors.
The other major factor has been the urban myth and misinformation circulating amongst parents, too often driven by some primary headteachers trying to be helpful and some secondary headteachers keen to encourage numbers.
I have covered most of the comment and information below in previous news and information items on this website, but now that most Secondary School Common Application Forms (SCAF) have been submitted, I have time to reflect. Kent parents will know that exceptionally, KCC has extended the closing date to 5th November (nationally it was 31st October) to give parents good time to consult schools after the Kent Tests results were sent out, allowing for half-term in between.
I hear many good reports about the advice freely given by KCC School Admissions, and know that, as always, the Department has been massively overworked. However, they are not allowed to comment about individual schools as I am. Medway Council also runs an advice service.
I explore these issues and a variety of others below......
The pass mark for the Medway Test this year is an aggregate of 525. The total score for each child is made up of a verbal reasoning score, a mathematics score which is doubled up and an English score which is also doubled up.
So a child who scored: Verbal Reasoning - 110; mathematics – 102; and English – 103; would get a grand total of 110 + 102x2 + 103x2 = 520. This child would not pass as they have not reached 525 in total.
Unlike the Kent Test, there is no minimum score required in individual tests. Therefore, for example, a score of: VR- 75; mathematics – 140; and English – 85; scores 525 and passes.
For those parents whose children have not passed the Medway Test, there is now the decision as to whether to go for Review which must be made by next Friday, 10th October, and you will find extensive advice on how to make the decision elsewhere on this website.
An important new factor to be considered if you are likely to go to appeal, was introduced without warning last year. ........
Updated 19 November with Out of Medway Results
I now have the main results of the Medway Review process, which you will find in the table below, along with the previous data from automatic passes. These produce four main conclusions:
1) the number of girls who were successful at Review is nearly twice the number of boys ( last year girls were MORE than twice as successful as boys).
2) parents of girls were nearly twice as likely to apply for a Review as parents of boys;
3) Very few out of Medway Review requests were successful;
4) For Medway children, both the automatic pass rate, at 23.2% and the Review pass rate at 2.0% of the total number of children in the age group are very close to the targets of 23.0% and 2.0%.
I have previously considered the data for the automatic pass figures here, and you can compare the data with the 2012 test figures here. I have also looked at reasons for the underperformance of boys here, but can now add to these a possible lack of confidence by parents of boys in pursuing grammar school places in Medway...........
The Medway Test pass mark has been published. Successful candidates needed to have gained an aggregate score of 528 across the three tests. Although this is well up on the last few years, 2013 entry requiring an aggregate score of 509, the level of the difficulty of the test remains the same, the pass mark being set to achieve the target 23% of the population of Medway children being successful, a very similar total to last year. For a more detailed explanation of the process for determining the pass mark, go to here, although there is further explanation below. However, figures I have obtained from Medway Council show both a remarkable increase in the proportion of boys passing the test as explained below, accompanied by a leap in the number of Medway children taking the test (the explanation for the higher pass mark).
The comparative figures for 2014 and 2013 entry are as follows:
("Children in cohort" is the total number of Year 6 children in Medway, this figure being used as the base for the percentages quoted).
|Children in Cohort||Candidates||Successes||% successes||% of cohort|
|MEDWAY AUTOMATIC PASSES AUTUMN 2013|
|MEDWAY AUTOMATIC PASSES AUTUMN 2012|
|OUTSIDE MEDWAY AUTUMN 2013|
|OUTSIDE MEDWAY AUTUMN 2012|
Medway Reviews are being carried out this week, and will produce another 2% of Medway children ( around 59 in total) to be added to the pass list, along with others from outside. I will add these figures into the above table as soon as I receive them. I usually have the out of Medway figures broken down by Local Authority and will also publish these here, as soon as they are received. The 421 candidates from outside Medway will be predominantly from Kent and as they are self-selecting will have produced a higher pass rate than the Medway norm. I will also be publishing the figures for the Kent Test as soon as I receive them.
Regular visitors to this website will know that I have for some years been very unhappy at the way the Medway Tests appears to have discriminated against boys, but somehow, for 2014 entry, Medway Council appears to have addressed this concern. Indeed there are a number of changes in the patterns of entry and success in the Medway Test for Medway residents, the most significant being as follows:......
I have uncovered shocking statistics relating to the Medway Test for grammar school admission that show it both discriminates sharply against boys, as compared with girls, and also against younger children as against those born in the first half of the school year. Surely neither of these levels of discrimination should be acceptable to Medway Council or the families of the children so disadvantaged, especially younger boys who get caught both ways. ......