Families will soon find out how their child did in the Kent Test when Kent County Council releases results this afternoon. This year, 15,634 children took the Kent Test, which was delayed by roughly a month to accommodate the impact of COVID-19 and in particular the period from late March this year when schools were closed to the majority of pupils.
Families who registered online will be sent an email from Kent County Council after 4pm today (Thursday, November 26) with their child’s assessment outcome. Due to the volume of emails sent out, some providers may delay the delivery of the emails to personal email accounts; this is outside the control of the county council. Families who registered online can also log on after 5pm today and view their child’s outcome if they have retained their log-in and password details. First Class letters will be sent to all families who did not supply a valid email address when they applied.
Parents who applied for the Kent Test will be aware that most selective local authorities, including Kent, followed central government guidance to delay assessment processes from their usual early September timeframe. This means that parents have already applied for secondary schools, as the closing date for applications is set in legislation and was not changed this year, in spite of COVID-19. Instead, parents were given two extra preferences (an increase from four to six) and additional guidance to ensure they could apply fairly and safely for schools even though they were not sure if their child was eligible for grammar school. Families were reminded that passing the Kent Test does not guarantee a child a place at a grammar school.
Richard Long, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This has been a year unlike anything we have ever seen, however, Kent has done everything in its power to ensure that families were given a fair and safe way to apply for Kent secondary schools this year.
“We are fortunate that Kent already has arguably one of the fairest selection processes available, which provided us with a strong foundation to build on when responding to COVID-19.
“We recognise that while the process of transferring a child to secondary school will be exciting, it has the potential to cause worry during even a normal year. Our thoughts therefore go out to all families that have had to navigate this process on top of a national pandemic. We would like to thank both the schools and staff who have worked diligently to ensure that these families have been supported to make the best decisions for their child in spite of these unique challenges.
“Kent has a diverse mix of excellent selective and non-selective schools, so regardless of each child’s outcome today, they can look forward to a fruitful transition to secondary school next year.
“We anticipate the 4,867 Kent children who have been assessed as being suitable for grammar school will, in most cases, enjoy priority for the 5,550 places available in the county over pupils from other authorities.
“Although KCC supports the right of all parents, including those of the 3,062 eligible children outside of Kent to have named our schools among their preferences, the nature of the school admissions process means that most children will ultimately secure places in their own local authority area.”
Details of secondary schools in Kent and the Secondary Transfer process can be found at www.kent.gov.uk/secondaryadmissions
KCC’s guidance on home-to-school transport allows parents to see whether there is any help available for their child. Details can be found here: www.kent.gov.uk/schooltransport
For further advice on call 03000 41 21 21 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to journalists:
- Kent Test in figures (comparing last year to this)
- Number who registered for the test (starting school September 2020): 17,413
- Number who registered for the test (starting school September 2021): 17,079
- Number who sat the test (starting school September 2020): 16,207
- Number who sat the test (starting school September 2021): 15,634
- Number assessed suitable for grammar school, admission September 2020: 7,735 (4,941 Kent / 2,794 out of county and others such as ‘educated at home’)
- Number assessed suitable for grammar school, admission September 2021: 7,940 (4,878 Kent / 3,062 out of county and others such as ‘educated at home’)
- Grammar school places available for September 2020: 5,305
- Grammar school places available for September 2021: 5550*
*Grammar schools retain the ability to request that the county council make offers in excess of their planned admission number, so this number may increase.
- How have families been able to apply for Grammar school places this year if they did not know their child’s Kent Test result?
Under normal circumstances, parents are informed of their child’s Kent Test results roughly two weeks before the deadline for submitting their secondary school application and can name up to four school preferences on their application. The School Admissions Code requires anyone using tests to “take all reasonable steps” to ensure that parents know their child’s test result before the closing date for applications.
While our original admissions scheme would have made results available to parents before 31 October, they were delayed in line with Government guidance, as an unavoidable consequence of the school closures for most pupils in March.
National Closing Day is defined in legislation as 31 October each year, so KCC could not delaying the closing date until after parents were informed of their child’s assessment. Kent parents were therefore given two additional preferences this year, an increase from four to six. The School Admissions Code requires all preferences to be considered equally, which means that a school cannot reduce a child’s priority for a place if their parent names it lower down their list. KCC will not tell the school what order they were on an application, or which other schools a parent named. Where more than one school can offer a child a place, KCC will offer the highest preference school and make the lower preference place available to another child. In this way, all preferences that are expressed are treated equally by each school.
Parents will therefore not be disadvantaged if they have named a Grammar school on their application form, but now find out that their child did not receive the necessary test outcome to be offered a place. Parents are always advised to name schools in their true order of preference, with the one they would like the most at the top, regardless of their child’s chances of securing a place. With equal preference, parents could therefore put their preferred Grammar schools at the top of their list. If their child now receives a selective assessment through the Kent Test, the Grammar schools will consider the preferences and offer a place if one is available. If the child hasn’t qualified for Grammar school, those Grammar preferences will not be considered, but KCC will continue to process the lower preference non-Grammar schools. The non-Grammar schools will not treat the child any differently than if they’d named them as a higher preference. The additional availability of preferences meant that parents can apply for a mixture of both selective and non-selective school to account for each potential outcome.
- If a child passed the Kent test, will they automatically be offered a grammar school place?
No. A Kent grammar school assessment does not guarantee a child will be offered a Kent grammar school place. If more children apply for places than a school can accommodate the school will use its oversubscription criteria to decide which children it can take. Some children assessed suitable for grammar school may be offered places at all-ability schools if no local grammar school can offer them a place or if their parents name it as a higher preference.
- When will families find out which school they have been allocated?
The national offer day is Monday, 1 March, 2021. Families who registered online and provided a valid email address will be sent an email after 4pm on 1 March or can view their offer online at 5pm on the same day.
Families who did not provide a valid email address will be sent a letter posted 1st Class on 1 March, advising which school their child has been offered.
- How is the Kent Test scored?
Children will get three standardised scores, one for English, one for Maths and one for Reasoning.
Standardisation is a statistical process which compares a child’s performance with the average performance of other children in each test. A slight adjustment is made to take into account each child’s age so that the youngest are not at a disadvantage.
This year’s score ranges will be published later this month.