National Secondary Offer Day 2020

More than 94% of pupils will receive an offer from one of their four preferred schools this National Secondary Offer Day despite the number of families applying for places increasing by almost 1,000 in the last two years to the largest cohort ever.

A total of 21,670 parents/carers applied for a place for their child in a Kent school for September 2020, which is an increase of 939 since 2018 and an additional 197 applications when compared to last year.

Despite the challenge of the increase in numbers, 14,095 pupils (77.65% of the Kent cohort) will be offered a place at their first preference school, while 2,120 children (11.68% of the Kent cohort) will be offered a place at the school they put as their second preference.

More than 20,000 children will find out today which secondary school they’ve been offered a place at

Richard Long, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I am delighted that, despite a significant increase in the number of applications, almost 95% of families will be offered a place at one of the four schools they selected, while more than 77% will be offered a place at their first preference. I would like to thank KCC officers and Kent schools for all their hard work in making this happen and helping to ensure Kent children have access to a rich diversity of good quality schools.

“I am also very pleased that the percentage of families applying online has increased again this year, to 93.85%, which is better for the environment than using a paper application form. We will continue to encourage families who are able to apply this way to do so in future years.”

From 4pm today (Monday, March 2) thousands of families across Kent will check their emails to find out which secondary school their children have been offered a place at for September this year. From 5pm, those who applied online will also be able to log into their accounts to view their offer. Those who submitted their applications on a paper form will receive their offers by post, which will be sent by First Class mail on Monday, March 2.

Richard Long, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, is delighted that almost 95% of pupils will get one of their four preferences

Each year there will unfortunately be a small number of children who are not offered a place at one of their preferred schools. KCC will support these families by ensuring they are offered a place at an alternative school. Families in these situations are advised not to worry as today is only the first stage of the allocation process.

Mr Long added: “My colleagues and I fully understand how disappointed parents, carers and children will be if they have not been offered a place at one of their preferred schools, however, there are still a number of options open to them. I would first advise families visit the school they have been offered a place at and speak to the head teacher and staff before making a decision as they may well find the school is suitable for their child. Families should also request to join the waiting list of any school they want to continue to be considered for by Monday, March 16. We will hold a second round of offers on Wednesday, April 22 for any spaces that become available. There is likely to be considerable movement on school waiting lists between now and September. Finally, parents can appeal direct to the admissions authority of any school which could not offer their child a place.

“Throughout the remainder of this process, KCC staff members are ready to speak to parents or carers to answer any questions they may have as well as offer information, advice and support, so I would urge anyone who is concerned to contact them.”

Of the 955 children who were allocated a place by the Local Authority this year, just 113 (11.83%) parents/carers named four eligible preferred schools on their application form while 42 (4.40%) didn’t select any schools their child is eligible to attend. This makes it very difficult for officers to identify local schools because the law requires all named preferences to be satisfied before allocations can be made, which often leaves local schools full. This is why it is important for families to name four schools on their application form as naming fewer will not increase the chances of being offered a school they want.




Notes to journalists:

  1. Parents will have until Monday, March 16 to accept or refuse their offer and return waiting list forms.
  2. Parents must also lodge any appeals for their named schools by Friday, March 27 to be heard on time.
  3. KCC will reallocate places from schools’ waiting lists sending out a second round of offers on Wednesday, April 22.
  4. After Wednesday, April 22, schools will maintain their own waiting lists and parents can apply to schools direct via the ‘In Year Common Application Form’ after this date to ask to be placed on the waiting list. (Note – only children assessed suitable for grammar school can be placed on a grammar school waiting list.)
  5. Please see the table below for additional preference information.



Kent Pupils 2020 2019  
No of pupils % No of pupils %  
Offered a first preference 14,095 77.65 14,201 79.01  
Offered a second preference 2,120 11.68 2,008 11.18  
Offered a third preference 714 3.93 691 3.85  
Offered a fourth preference 269 1.48 222 1.24  
Allocated by Local Authority 955 5.26 837 4.66  
Total number of Kent pupils offered 18,153 100 17,959 100  




Year 2020 2019
Out of county applicants 3,517 3,514
Offers to out of county pupils at Kent schools 817 818


Year 2020 2019
Total numbers of pupils in the cohort 21,670 21,473


National Secondary Offer Day 2020 was last modified: March 2nd, 2020 by Suz Elvey