Grammar schools where it is consistently most difficult to win appeals include: Wilmington Grammar School for Boys (just 2 successful appeals out of 65 in 2011), with a record 112 appeals two years earlier, of whom just 8 were successful); Dartford Boys Grammar (14% of 74 in 2011); The Skinners School (around 15% for each of the past two years); Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Girls (around 20% most years); Norton Knatchbull, Ashford (21% of 23 appeals in 2011);
However, these figures can be very misleading; for example, many people rightly are put off by the fierce competition for places at the most selective grammar school in Kent - the Judd, so the number fo appeals falls (in 2010, 28% of the 25 appeals were successful - the majority will have been high scoring applicants who just missed out on a place originally).
At the other end of the scale, to illustrate the variation in results, Gravesend Grammar School for Girls had a 75% success rate, compared with just 22% in 2010! Next highest was Simon Langton Girls at 60% up from 40% for no obvious reason, and The Harvey Grammar School, traditionally high at 55%.
Other than these, most grammar schools tend to vary around the mean of 36%, depending on the competition for places and the strength of the individual case, so my advice is concentrate on your case and don't get obsessed with these figures.
What the figures do not tell us is the proportion of appeals from parents of children who have passed the Kent Test and are appealing becasue the school is full (oversubscription appeals), as distinct from those who have not passed (whether or not the school is full). This information is not collected in the statistics.
Non-Selective Secondary Schools
For non-selective schools, the situation is far more variable, with a number usually admitting all children who appeal (although this can of course change for any particular year, if the school decides it is under too much pressure). Schools that have encouraged panels to uphold all appeals for one or more of the past three years include: Canterbury High School; Ellington/Hereson; Hayesbrook; Mascalls; Northfleet Technology; St Simon Stock; Thamesview, Towers; Westlands. You cannot assume the same will happen for 2012 entry, so you must still take great care with any appeal. At the other end of the scale: Longfield Academy upheld no appeals in 2010 (2011 figures not yet available); Leigh Academy just 4 out of 65 in 2010 (both using the same appeal administrators). The variability is probably best illustrated by Brockhill Park (71% in 2011, 0% in 2010).
Primary Reception Class Appeals
For primary schools, the key issue whether Infant Class legislation applies for a school where an appeal is made (broadly, if the Planned Admission Number is 30 or a multiple of it, 20 or a multiple, or 15 or a multiple). In such cases, only exceptional cases will stand even the smallest chance of success. The following table includes nearly all infant class appeals.
|Reception Class Appeals 2011|
|Number||Appeals Upheld||% successful|
|Infant Class Legislation Applies||551||32||6%|
|No Infant Class Legislation||69||34||49%|
I was of course delighted that a record 90% of my clients gained success at appeals last year (as were they), but this excellent figure is helped by the fact that I willonly take on commissions where I consder there is a genuine possibility of success.