Advice to parents should they want to appeal their child's Kent Test results
As thousands of children across Kent collect their Kent Test (11+) results this week Graham Jones says parents should consider whether an appeal is appropriate if their child doesn’t make the grade.
Kent County Council will email families who registered online for the test after 4pm on 11th October with their child’s assessment result.
Graham believes that if a child is really suited to the grammar stream an appeal is always worth considering should they fail the first time around.
Kent is the largest selective area in the country, with 33 grammar schools in the county; meaning competition for a place in one of them is tough.
Graham said: “From my own experience I believe parents should consider the appeal procedure should their child fail the 11+ providing there is a justifiable reason for it, especially if supported by the school.
“I’ve advised many parents in the past through the appeal process.
“With support from the school the appeal statement should outline that the child has extra attributes, such as hobbies, clubs, sportsability that they can bring to their future school or perhaps give the reasons why the child had a ‘bad day at the office” on the day of the test.
“Of course, each case is different.
“If it is an extraneous reason such as illness, bereavement or other non academic reason you need to examine each case on its own facts.”
However, Graham claims there is too much pressure on children to sit the 11+ exam itself “especially if they are not really grammar stream”.
Graham adds: “Children should attend the school that is best suited to them so they can flourish and not just cram for grammar.
“Coaching for the test can create a “Grammar Blip” where a child is able to pass but then cannot cope with the pressure of the school.
“Failing the Kent Test can be traumatic for a child but that does not mean they have failed.
“My youngest child didnt make it to a grammar school but got his GCSEs and is about to start a chef diploma at Westminster College.
“You should help your children achieve what they are best at not what you want them to be best at”.
Graham has this advice for parents looking to appeal.
- Speak to the school.
- Have they undertaken a head teachers appeal?
- What was the pass mark?
- Were there any special circumstances that made it a bad day at the office, illness, family issues?
- Before appeal check if the chosen school is full. If it is the appeal will fail unless the school choose to add another class.
According to Peter Read from Kent Education Advice many Kent children who have not initially passed the Kent Test are given a second chance through the Kent headteacher assessment (HTA) process in October (although this is by headteacher recommendation and parents are not made aware of whether their children are included).
It is not always advantageous to have gone down this route for, if unsuccessful, the report of the HTA is presented to any appeal panel, and can prove counterproductive.
Medway parents are offered a review of any non selective decision in November. These stages take place before the selective decision is confirmed.
In any case, parents need to be aware that if their child is unsuccessful in the test, or in HTA or Medway Review, there is no right to appeal until after school allocation, normally 1st March.
Parents cannot appeal against a non-selective decision in general and your right to appeal is to a particular school which has not offered your child a place.
Whilst appeals usually begin in April/May, some may not be heard until late June.
For more help with this please get in contact with Graham Jones here.