Secondary Admissions 2018
Medway Council Information on Secondary Admissions 2018
Please see information below downloaded from the Medway Council Website regarding the process and key dates for Secondary Admissions 2018. We have been advised that the council will not be producing a hard copy booklet this year. We recommend parents access the council website as this contains links and information on Secondary Open Days, OFSTED, fair banding test information, Medway Test application process and will be where you need to apply for a secondary place in September 2017.
Starting secondary school
Apply for a secondary school place for September 2018, if your child was born between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007.
If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or statement of special educational needs you don’t need to apply through this admission
Key dates for secondary school admissions 2018:
Registration for the Medway Test opens
9am, Thursday 1 June 2017
Registration for the Medway Test closes
5pm, Friday 30 June 2017
Deadline for special arrangements requests from schools
Friday 7 July 2017
Secondary school applications open
9am, Monday 11 September 2017
Medway Test dates
Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 September 2017
Medway Test date for Medway schools who opt for Saturday
Saturday 23 September 2017
Results of the Medway Test
Monday 9 October 2017
Deadline for Medway Test review requests
Monday 16 October 2017
Deadline for primary and junior schools to submit review work to Medway Council
10am, Wednesday 18 October 2017
Medway Test reviews
Thursday 19 and Friday 20 October 2017
Review decisions posted to parents and carers
By Tuesday 24 October 2017
Secondary school applications close
5pm, Tuesday 31 October 2017
Offers sent to parents and carers
Thursday 1 March 2018
Places must be accepted/refused
By Friday 23 March 2018
Re-allocation of vacant places begins
Monday 9 April 2018
Re-allocation of vacant places ends
Monday 31 December 2018
Choose a school
You can list up to six preferences when you apply for a school place.
Before you apply, there are things you may want to consider doing:
- find out more about secondary schools in Medway including dates of open days
- find out how places are offered for each school by reading their admission arrangements
- check the schools' Ofsted report (Type in the school name and press 'search'. These reports are not taken into account as part of the admissions process).
It's also important to think about how your child will get to school. If you're interested in applying for home to school transport, you can request a list of the nearest qualifying schools from your home address.
If your child would like to attend a grammar school, they need to be assessed as selective (grammar) under the Medway Test.
Brompton Academy and Strood Academy require all applicants to sit a Fair Banding Test.
Apply for a place
Open date for 2018 applications: 9am, Monday 11 September 2017
Closing date for 2018 applications: 5pm, Tuesday 31 October 2017
- you must live in Medway to apply with Medway Council. If you live outside of Medway, you need to apply through your local authority
- you can name Medway schools and non-Medway schools on your application
- you can apply for up to six different schools in order of preference (not including private, independent or special schools)
- naming only one school does not guarantee your child a place in that school
- don’t name a school multiple times. It will only be considered as one of your preferences
- you must use the child's main address
- if your child has a sibling at the school it does not guarantee them a place - you still have to apply
- if applying for more than one child (e.g. twins) you must complete a separate application for each child
- you must apply even if you have added your child’s name to a school’s expression of interest list.
We recommend you apply online because:
- It's quick, easy and secure
- you'll get an email confirmation when you submit your application
- you can check or change your application up until the closing date and resubmit it after changes are made
- you’ll get an offer of a school by email on offer day.
- you may need to complete a supplementary information form (SIF) to go with your application. You can get these forms from the school
- if your child has a health, medical or special access need you’ll need to provide evidence of this with your online application
- if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or statement of special educational needs please don’t apply through this mainstream process.
You can visit one of Medway Council's Community Hubs or libraries to use our computers to complete your online application.
If you can't apply online, you can collect a paper application form from our offices at Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR.
If you apply for a school place after the closing date, your application will only be considered if you can provide a good reason, for example:
- serious illness
- late move to the Medway area.
If you miss the closing date you can still submit an application up to 4pm on Friday 10 November 2017 with a covering letter explaining your reasons for being late.
We'll decide if late applications received by 10 November 2017 can be accepted. Any applications not accepted or received after 10 November 2017 will be held pending until after the offer of school places on 1 March 2018.
All secondary school offers will go out on 1 March 2018.
Each school you have named on your application will be given a status. Here's what they mean:
- Offered - a place has been offered at this school
- Higher preference offered or Declined - a place has been offered at a higher named preference school
- No offer or Pending– we were unable to offer a place at this school. An offer has been made at a lower preference
- Withdrawn – we were unable to consider this preference. This is usually because the preference is a grammar school and the child has not been assessed as grammar.
- if you apply online you'll receive your child's offer by email after 4pm on 1 March 2018
- if you apply by paper, we'll post your offer letter on 1 March 2018, so you will receive it after that date
- your offer will come from the local authority where you live, not where the school is offered
- we can’t guarantee your child will get a place at one of the schools you named on your application.
What you can do next
Once you receive your offer you need to decide whether to accept or refuse the school place.
Information on how to do this will be in the Next Steps Guide published on offer day.
You must accept or refuse your offer by Friday 23 March 2018.
- You should accept the place offered, even if you're looking to go on a waiting list or appeal, as there's no guarantee you will be successful.
- An accepted place can always be released later, but a refused place can't always be reinstated.
- Refusing a school place doesn't give you a higher priority on waiting lists or in appeals.
If you're unhappy with the offer
If you’re unhappy with the school place we offered your child, you can:
- ask us to add your child to the waiting list for any Medway school (you can't ask to go on the waiting list of a grammar school if your child hasn't been assessed as selective under the Medway Test)
- submit an appeal for any of the schools you named on your application that have not offered your child a place.
How we decide what school is offered to your child
We allocate all school places based on each school's oversubscription criteria.
This means you're not guaranteed a school place at one of the schools you named on your application. However, we try our best to offer your child a place at one of your highest preferred schools.
For children who are assessed as selective (grammar) under the Medway Test, the majority are offered places at a grammar school, but sometimes we offer them a place at a non-selective school because it's named as a higher preference on the application.
The schools that you name are not told which order you put them in. The order of your preferences is between you and Medway Council for the purpose of allocating places only.
If you aren't offered one of your preferences
If we haven't been able to offer your child a place at one of the schools named on your application, this will be because either:
- There were more applications for a school than places available and other applicants had a higher priority for a place based on the school's oversubscription criteria
- It is a grammar school and your child hasn't been assessed as selective (grammar) through the Medway Test.
If you aren't offered a place at any of the schools you named on your application, we’ll offer your child a place at the nearest school to your home address with a vacancy.
If you're not happy with the school place your child has been offered you can ask for them to be added to the waiting list for:
- any of the Medway schools named on your application
- any other Medway school that wasn't named on your application (you can't ask to go on the waiting list of a grammar school if your child hasn't been assessed as selective under the Medway Test)
You will need to complete the waiting list request form (this will be available after offer day) and return it to Medway Council's School Services by Friday 23 March 2018.
Your child will not be automatically added to any waiting lists unless you complete this form and we receive it.
- Waiting lists close on 31 December 2018.
- We will offer vacant places to children on the schools' waiting lists from the week starting 9 April 2018.
- A child's place on a waiting list is held in oversubscription criteria order, not first come first served.
If your child is offered a place from a waiting list
If your child is offered a place at a school from a waiting list, we will:
- automatically withdraw any other school place offer you hold so it can be offered to another child
- after the end of the school year, contact you before making an offer to see if you want the new school offer or not
- remove your child from any waiting list for schools named as a lower preference than the one offered, but let your child remain on the lists for schools named higher.
If you want to remove your child from waiting lists
If you decide you're satisfied with a school offer and don't wish for your child to stay on waiting lists you must tell us in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you don't do this, your child will stay on the waiting lists and may be able to receive another offer of a school place, which means any other offer will be removed.
You have the right to appeal for any school named on your application that hasn't been able to offer your child a place.
You will need to complete an appeal request form (this will be available after offer day) and return it to the school you're appealing for, addressed to the 'Clerk to the Independent Appeal Panel'.
The deadline for submitting an appeal is 23 March 2018.
- Medway Council isn't involved in the appeal process for any secondary school or academy.
- You can only appeal for schools named on your application.
- You can appeal for more than one school at the same time.
- You must complete a separate request form for each school you're appealing for.
- Each school won't know you have appealed for another school unless you tell them. The appeals for each school are completely independent of each other.
After you submit your appeal
After you submit your appeal, the school will set up a hearing and let you know the date and time. They must give you at least 10 school days' notice.
You should be given a deadline to submit any further evidence you wish to provide.
Your child's current school may also provide evidence (e.g. letter from the headteacher) to support your case, but aren't obligated to. You will need to discuss this with them.
Any evidence submitted after the deadline may not be considered at the hearing.
Your appeal will be heard by an independent panel who have no connection to the school.
The panel will decide on whether or not to uphold your appeal and grant your child a place.
You will be invited to the hearing to explain why you think your child should be given a place and the school will be invited to explain why a place can't be offered.
There will be a clerk present, who makes sure correct procedure is followed throughout and keeps a full record of proceedings.
You have the right to bring a friend or family member to the hearing to support or represent you. However, this person must not have a connection with the school being appealed for (e.g. a member of staff from the school).
What happens at an appeal hearing
- The panel will decide on whether or not to uphold your appeal and grant your child a place.
- The admission authority will explain why they turned down your application.
- You’ll be able to give your own reasons why your child should be given a place.
- The appeals panel must decide if the school’s admission arrangements were properly followed and are legal according to the school admissions appeals code.
- If the arrangements are legal and were properly followed, the panel must decide if they were followed fairly and thoroughly.
- If the arrangements weren’t properly followed or are illegal, your appeal must be upheld.
- If your appeal has not already been upheld, the panel will decide if your reasons for your child receiving a place outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting another child.
- The panel will send you and the admission authority their decision within 5 school days.
A panel’s decision can only be overturned by a court. If there’s a change in your circumstances which could affect the decision, you may be able to appeal again.
The independent panel will make their decision after all appeals have been heard.
You will be notified of the decision in writing, usually within five working days of the last appeal.
The decision of the panel is final and can only be overturned by a court. Full details of the appeals process and regulations are available in the School Admissions Appeals Code.
Other types of appeal
In addition to individual appeals there are three other types of appeal:
If there are a large number of appeals for a school, the school can decide to hold a grouped appeal for all the children to look at the issue of 'fullness' (e.g. the school's case is that they're full and can't give places to any more children).
Only the school can decide on whether or not to hold a grouped appeal. You can't request for them to have one.
All those appealing for a place at the school are invited to a joint meeting.
What happens at the joint meeting
An independent panel will listen to the case put forward by the school and the responses to questions put forward by the panel, parents and their representatives. There will be no discussion at this point on individual cases.
Appeals are not heard unless the school has admitted children up to its published admission number (or where the appeal is for a grammar school and the child is assessed as non-grammar), but an appeal panel can decide to admit further children into the school and place the school over its published admission number.
The panel will also make sure the school's admissions arrangements meet the legal requirements and have been correctly applied in your child’s case.
If the panel decides that all the children could be given a school place without causing impact on the school, it must uphold all of the appeals.
If, however, the panel is satisfied that the school has proved it would be impacted if it gave places to any more children (e.g. the school is full), the panel will begin to hear individual appeals. Parents will be given a date for their individual appeal.
The panel must not make decisions on individual appeals until all cases have been heard.
An assessment appeal is for a grammar school when your child hasn't passed the Medway Test, but you believe they didn't perform at their best at the time the test took place.
If your child's test hasn't been reviewed
If your child hasn't had their Medway Test reviewed, the panel must only uphold the appeal if it is satisfied that:
1. There's evidence to demonstrate the child is of the required academic standards, for example, school reports giving Year 5/6 SATs results or a letter of support from the child’s current or previous school explaining why the child is considered to be of grammar ability
2. Where applicable, the parent's case outweighs the school’s case (that giving school places to more children would cause an impact on the school).
If your child's test has been reviewed
Where a local review has taken place, the panel must only consider whether the child’s review was carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way. If there's evidence that this isn't the case, the panel must follow the process above.
This is an appeal when your child has been refused a place at a school when the oversubscription criteria has been applied. This includes grammar schools when your child has been assessed as grammar under the Medway Test, but not received a grammar school place.