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A message from Matt Dunkley CBE:

26 April 2018 weekly update

26 April 2018

This week, Matt summarises Kent's best Primary school offer day since coordinated Primary admissions began.

Dear Colleagues

Primary school offer day

Last week, following the annual Primary School Offer day, nearly 98% of children across Kent will start their formal education in September 2018 at one of their chosen Primary schools. This is an improvement from last year and means that 15,426 families were offered their first preference school, which accounts for almost 90% of all applications. Just over 6% will have an offer of their second preference school.

As a result, the fewest number of families ever will be allocated a school they did not name, with 390 children assigned a school by Kent County Council. This is a reduction of over half since 2012 when 818 children required a Local Authority allocation to a school with places.

I am very pleased that we are continuing year on year to meet and achieve parental preferences for two key reasons. Firstly we now have 93% of Primary Schools rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted - this is excellent position and allows parents to confidently name schools in their area. Secondly, we have done well to keep pace with increasing the number of places for the rise in pupil numbers - the close working with schools and careful planning means Kent is able to sustain a higher proportion of children starting at one of their preferred schools.

Unfortunately, each year a small minority of children are not offered a school of their choice, I am pleased that this number is decreasing year on year with only 390 this year. As you know, we encourage families to use the preferences available to them so that they have a better chance of securing a preferred school. All children who need a place will have a place and the County Council will offer each of these families an alternative school. As part of the process in the coming weeks, many will go on to secure places of their preference through waiting lists and reallocation and we aim to be able to reassure parents that our Admissions Team is on hand to help them make the most of the options available to them.

Parents can accept their school place offer or seek alternatives via the reallocation process if they are not happy with their allocation. Spaces remain in schools around Kent as a direct result of measures taken by the Council to manage capacity in line with increasing demand.

I want to thank all the Primary schools for delivering this good outcome, for the continued work to improve the quality of schools and for the way schools work with us to expand places where they are needed.

Matt Dunkley CBE
Corporate Director
Children, Young People and Education