National secondary school offer day

Again this year, more children than ever have applied for a place in a Kent secondary school, with 19,442 applications received, an increase of 645 since 2016.

Roger Gough, KCC’s Cabinet Member for education and health reform, said: “As we predicted, this has proved Kent’s most challenging year due to record numbers of applicants.

“In spite of the significant increase, 13,446 families will receive their first preference and 1,857 their second preference school.

“As is the case each year, a large number of applications have been made for Kent schools from outside of Kent and although this is a credit to our schools and their growing popularity, it makes meeting parental preferences ever more challenging.

“Out of the 19,442 applications received, 2,745 of these were from parents who do not live in Kent, and about a third of this number secured an offer of a Kent school.

“Unfortunately it is not always possible to offer parents one of their preferred schools.  School allocations can only be made by KCC after all other preferences have been satisfied.

“Again we have seen many of those in need of an allocation, failing to name more than one preference.

“This limits the opportunity to access local schools at the outset and may mean we must offer an available school outside the immediate area if local schools have filled with named preferences.

“For those who have not secured a preferred school, I would like to reassure parents that this is the very first stage of the school allocation process and that a specialist Kent County Council team is on hand to help with any queries they may have.

“There will be considerable movement through waiting lists and the appeals process between now and September.”

Over 91% of all applications were made online which means from 4pm on 1 March thousands of Kent families will be logging on to view their accounts or receiving an email to find out which secondary school their child has been offered for this September.

For families who applied on paper forms, offers will be going out by first class post on 1 March and letters should arrive over the next few days.

Despite the increase in numbers, it is pleasing that over 250 more children than last year will get their first preference secondary school and over 96% will receive an offer from one of the four schools they named.

For further advice please email:

For more information on how to join a waiting list and/or appeal go to:

  1. Parents will have until 16 March to accept or refuse their offer and return waiting list forms.
  2. Parents must also lodge any appeals for their named schools by 29 March to be heard as on time.
  3. Kent  County Council will reallocate places from schools waiting lists sending out a second round of offers on 28 April
  4. From 29 April, 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 2017 2016 2015
  No. of pupils % No of     pupils % No of         pupils %
Offered a first preference 13,446 80.53% 13,159 81.37% 12,796 80.51%
Offered a second preference 1,857 11.12% 1,840 11.38% 1,612 10.14%
Offered a third preference 587 3.52% 549 3.39% 611 3.84%
Offered a fourth preference 191 1.14% 196 1.21% 234 1.48%
Allocated by Local Authority 616 3.69% 428 2.65% 641 4.03%
Total number of Kent pupils offered 16,697 16,172 15,894


Year 2017 2016 2015
Out of county applicants 2,744 2,624 2,299
Offers to out of county pupils at Kent schools 810 803 757


Year 2017 2016 2015
Total numbers of pupils in the cohort 19,411 18,797 18,193


National secondary school offer day was last modified: March 1st, 2017 by KCC press office