We understand that many of you with children in year 5 are very anxious to know what will happen about the Kent Test when the new school year starts in September. We are carefully considering what might be deliverable, depending on advice from central government as the pandemic runs its course and decisions are made about the easing of lockdown for children of primary school age.
Many factors could change between now and the end of term and this means that we are currently unable to tell you exactly how we will assess children for grammar school in the new academic year. We can confirm, however, that we will need some way to identify which children are eligible. Testing has the benefit of being available to the thousands of grammar school applicants we normally assess every year, however recently they have arrived in Kent and wherever they usually study, even if they are home educated, so it would be the most straightforward option if it is possible. Whatever is decided, we need to be confident that we can keep the risk to children and their teachers as low as possible, allowing grammar schools meet their legal obligations in a fair and transparent way, while allowing us to stay within the national timetable for coordinating school admissions. We appreciate that everyone of school age is missing classroom teaching, but it is fortunate that there are many excellent resources available through schools and education sites for children.
Familiarisation material for the Kent Test can also be found here. We will update the website for everyone’s benefit when we have received further guidance from the Department for Education and there is a clearer understanding of what arrangements may be possible. In the meantime, we would ask that parents monitor the Kent Test page for updates, rather than sending individual enquiries. We do understand that uncertainty is difficult, especially for children, but we are unable to confirm what arrangements will be in place until there is a clearer understanding of how children are likely to return to school in greater numbers.
Kent and Bexley Tests
Children who were born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010 can sit the Kent and Bexley selection tests when they are in Year 6 of primary school. The test covers entry to the grammar schools in Kent and Bexley and is open to all children regardless of where they live.
Kent Test Registrations for the Kent Test will open on 1 June 2020 and close at midnight on 1 July 2020 for children due to start secondary school in September 2021. Parents will be informed closer to the time if any adjustments need to be made to the Kent Test as a result of the recent school closures for the majority of children.
Bexley Test Information regarding the Bexley Test can be viewed here. All children must be registered online between 1 May and 3 July 2020,
Applying for Secondary Schools
If your child is due to start secondary school in September 2021 you will be able to apply on-line at www.kent.gov.uk/ola. If you have already used the system to register your child for the Kent Test, you will be able to log on and simply add your preferences to the information you have already given. Applications will be open in September and the national closing date for applications is 31st October 2020.
You can apply for up to 4 schools, putting them in order of preference. It's in your best interests to list 4 schools. Naming only one school does not guarantee your child a place at that school or give your child priority for a place over another child, neither does naming a school more than once.
It is important to check whether any of your chosen secondary schools require a Supplementary Form to be completed. This must be returned directly to the school being applied for.
If you would like help or advice, or require access to a computer, please contact Debby Clucas, our Family Support Manager.
Further information can be found on the Kent County Council's website which can be accessed here.
If you are unhappy with the school place you've been offered, you can appeal for any of the schools you named in your application. We recommend you still accept the place your child has been offered. This will not affect your appeal and will guarantee your child has a school place if your appeal is unsuccessful. If your appeal is successful you must remember to tell the school you were originally offered that you no longer want the place.