Agenda and draft minutes

Select Committee - Grammar Schools and Social Mobility - Thursday, 4th February, 2016 2.00 pm

Venue: Swale 1, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Denise Fitch/David Firth/Serine Annan-Veitch  03000 416090/416089/415782

Note No. Item

2.00 - 2.45pm


Scott Bagshaw, Head of Admissions and Transport and Gay Reay, PESE Manager (KCC) pdf icon PDF 46 KB

Additional documents:


(1)       The Chairman welcomed Mr Bagshaw (KCC Head of Admissions and Transport) and Mrs G Reay (KCC PESE Manager). 


(2)       Please provide a brief overview of the Kent Test selection process, its purpose, and how it operates.  We ask Schools to speak to the parents during Year 5 in order that they can identify their best options in the light of their child’s observed attainment and any other relevant considerations.  In June/July that year, the parents have the responsibility of registering for the Kent Test, if they wish to do so. We check the names with the schools and also gather information on any disability or SEN. In exceptional circumstances, we can add a pupil to the list of those taking the Test.


(3)       The pupils take the Kent Test during the month of September of Year 6.  This examines English Comprehension, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation, Maths and Reasoning.  This version of the Test has been in operation for the past two years.   The pupils are also given 10 minutes to plan and 30 minutes to produce a written composition, which is not marked. 


(4)       The tests are marked to produce a raw score which is standardised through age-weighting.  The threshold for attendance at a grammar school is 25% of the cohort.  We set it at 21% in respect of the pupils who gain automatic admission through their standardised scores.  The pupils have to achieve a minimum score in each subject, regardless of their overall scores. The Primary Head Teachers are then allowed to provide more evidence.  A range of the pupils’ work is then considered by Panels of Head Teachers, mainly drawn from Grammar and Primary Schools (although attendance is open to all).  The Panel can change a pupil’s assessment but not the score itself.


(5)       Can a test become invalid?  This can happen if, for example, there has been a fire alarm which has disrupted the Test.   It is also true to say that, even though we try to mitigate this, certain disabilities lead to pupils underachieving.


(6)       There have been some modifications to the format of the Kent Test. Have these led to an increase in FSM children taking the Test?  We do not have the data for FSM children and would not be able to find out how many FSM children took the Test 5 years ago. We expect that the numbers will have increased.   Overall, the participation levels have remained constant.  The matching analysis that is undertaken is through the Census.  This is not particularly reliable as people’s FSM status, income and addresses can change quite easily.  This means that there will be between 3 and 4% of the pupils who have taken the Test where we simply do not know whether they were FSM children or not.


(7)       Is a Level 5 SATS score taken as a model for a Grammar School pupil?  The Maths Test is based on the curriculum that the brighter pupils ought to have covered.  We do find that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.

3.00 - 3.45pm


Tony Doran, Virtual School Kent pdf icon PDF 49 KB

Additional documents: