Medway Test

The presentation from Medway Council is to explain the admission processes for September 2022 including the Medway Test. This process starts on the Tuesday 1 June 2021 and the presentation includes key dates. The information also helps parents and carers to make an informative decision about which school they wish to apply for their child.

Why are we here now?

  • The admission processes for September 2022 started on Tuesday 1 June 2021
  • The first thing you will think about and decide is whether you want your child to sit the Medway Test in September 2021
  • The aim of this presentation is to help you understand the processes and to answer any questions you may have
  • We encourage you to use this presentation, the admissions information on the Medway Council website and contact with schools to help you make the most informed decision about which schools to apply for
  • Details of all 18 Medway secondary schools can be found in the admissions information guide
  • The guide also provides you with details of their published admission number, oversubscription criteria and other useful information including the dates and times for their planned open sessions

key dates for parents

DATE

EVENT

Mon 1 June 2021

Online registration for the Medway Test open (Online opens at 9am)

Tues 29 June 2021

Closing date for Medway Test registration (Online closes at 5pm)

Tues 14, Wed 15 & Sat 18 September 2021

Medway Test Dates

Mon 4 October 2021

Assessment decisions notified to parents/carers

Mon 11 October 2021

Deadline for Medway Test Review requests

Thurs 14 / Fri 15 October 2021

Medway Test Reviews and moderation

DATE

EVENT

By Fri 22 October 2021

Review decisions notified to parents/carers

Sun 31 October 2021

Closing date for secondary school applications
(Online closes at 5pm – National Closing Date)

Tue 1 March 2022

Secondary school offers notified to parents/carers
(National Offer Day)

By Wed 30 March 2022

Places must be accepted/refused and requests to go on a waiting list and appeals must be submitted

w/c 18 Apr 2022 until 30 Dec 2022

The Council re-allocates any places that have become available to those who have asked to go on the waiting lists for each school

The Medway Test and other testing arrangements

Due to uncertainty with the coronavirus rules that will be in place over the next few months, test arrangements are subject to change but we will endeavour to advise of any changes as soon as they become available.

The Medway Test is for Medway grammar schools only.

The Kent Test is for Kent grammar schools only.*
*Please note that Holcombe Grammar School and Chatham Grammar School for Girls also consider children who have passed the Kent Test.

The Medway Test is for the following schools:

  • Chatham Grammar School for Girls
  • Fort Pitt Grammar School
  • Holcombe Grammar School
  • Rainham Mark Grammar School
  • Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School
  • The Rochester Grammar School

In addition, The Howard School (boys only) can accept children who have been assessed as grammar into their grammar section, as they are a ‘bilateral school’.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should my child sit the Medway Test?

We would strongly recommend you discuss with your child’s class teacher or Headteacher, in the first instance, whether a grammar school may be the right place for your child. Medway operates a ‘testing before preference’ system.

This means that your child will sit the Medway Test and receive their assessment decision before the closing date for school applications.

This is so you can make the most informed decision possible when selecting which schools to name on your application.

Can my child sit grammar school tests in more than one area?

You can register your child for as many tests as you wish if you are considering schools in more than one local authority.

We recommend that your child only takes tests in areas where you are seriously considering the school for them to attend. We do not advise children sitting a test unnecessarily.

We advise that you contact the local authorities concerned to register for their tests.

There is no opportunity to change your Medway Test date if it clashes with another area.

When and where is the Medway Test being held?
  • Tuesday 14 / Wednesday 15 September 2021
    For children attending Medway primary/junior schools which have opted for mid-week testing.
    Testing will take place in your child’s current school.
  • Saturday 18 September 2021
    For children attending Medway primary/junior schools which have opted for Saturday testing (in their own school), and for children from schools from outside of Medway (in larger test centres).
    The test day usually runs between 8.30am and 1.30pm.
    After you have registered, we will send you an invitation nearer the time of the test confirming when and where your child is due to be tested and giving you information about the test day.
    The larger test centres will be Medway secondary schools that have agreed to be host venues for the test day.
    School Admissions and Transport will always try to allocate all children from the same primary school to the same test centre
How do I register my child to sit the Medway Test?

Registration is open from 9am on Tuesday 1 June 2021 until 5pm on Tuesday 29 June 2021. You can register your child online or please contact medwaytest@medway.gov.uk or call us on 01634 331110 if you require a paper registration form.

Completed paper forms must be returned to the School Admissions and Transport Team by the closing date. We do not acknowledge receipt of paper forms.

I live outside of Medway, how do I register?

If you live in another authority but wish your child to sit the Medway Test, then you can register your child in either of the ways mentioned above.

I live in Medway, but want my child to sit a grammar test in another area. What do I do?

You must contact the local authority concerned to find out how and when to register for their test.

My child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Can they sit the Medway Test?

The Medway Test is open to all children currently in Year 5 who wish to be considered for a Medway grammar school place.

You need to discuss with the SEN Team which schools you wish your child to be considered for.

If these include Medway grammar schools, then you need to ensure that your child is registered to sit the test.

Your child’s assessment decision will be taken into account when being considered for schools through the SEN processes.

If you have any questions about the SEN processes, please contact the Medway SEN team on: seneducationteam@medway.gov.uk

I think my child may need access or special arrangements for the Test. What can I do?

Once you have registered your child for testing, you will need to discuss this with your child’s Headteacher.

Your Headteacher will need to notify School Admissions and Transport Team of any access arrangements and/or request any special arrangements by completing our form.

All requests submitted by the deadline will be considered objectively by the Special Arrangements Panel.

We cannot guarantee that all requests will be upheld and special arrangements put into place.

Please note that the decision made by the panel is final and there is no opportunity to appeal the decision. The Medway Test is open to all children currently in Year 5 who wish to be considered for a Medway grammar school place.

What does the Medway Test consist of?

The Medway Test consists of three separate papers:

  • An extended writing paper
  • A mathematics paper
  • A verbal reasoning (VR) paper

These tests are specifically written for Medway and are designed to select 23 per cent of children in the year group to be assessed suitable for grammar school education. Up to a further 2 per cent can be selected through the review process.

How is the Medway test marked?

Each paper is marked based on the number of questions correct (for Maths and VR) and against specific criteria (for extended writing). These marks provide the raw scores.

The raw scores are then standardised. This means that the scores are weighted to reflect the child’s age at the time of taking the test.

Each year, a minimum score is set to determine those assessed as grammar. This score is set to select 23 per cent of the children in the year group and differs from year to year dependent on the size of the year group.

Medway Council will not know what this score will be for 2022 admissions until after all test papers have been marked and standardised.

  • For 2021 admissions, the minimum score required was 483
  • For 2020 admissions, the minimum score required was 490
  • For 2019 admissions, the minimum score required was 492
  • For 2018 admissions, the minimum score required was 495
  • For 2017 admissions, the minimum score required was 513

To calculate the total weighted score, the following calculation is used:

Extended Writing = standardised score x 2
Maths = standardised score x 2
Verbal Reasoning = standardised score x 1

The standardisation is copyrighted and undertaken by our test provider and we are unable to provide information about their formula for doing this.

When will I receive my child’s test results?

For ALL children who registered on time to sit the Medway Test, assessment decisions will be notified to parents/carers on 4 October 2021.

Those families that registered online, and provided an email address, will be sent an email after 4pm on this day. (Medway Council cannot guarantee exactly when emails will be received, as the time taken to deliver the email is down to the individual email providers).

The correspondence you receive will include details of what to do next.

If I’m not satisfied with my child’s result, what can I do?

If your child has not been assessed as grammar following the Medway Test, and you feel that your child is of grammar ability, you can request a review of your child’s academic work to be undertaken by a panel.

This is a parental decision, but we strongly advise that you discuss it with your child’s Headteacher or class teacher.

Even if you do not request a review, you will still be able to appeal for a Medway grammar school, as long as you have named the school on your application.

What is the Medway Test Review?

if you submit a review request, your child’s school will be asked to provide work in five areas (English, Maths, Science, Curricular/Topic/Humanities and Reading work).
The review is of academic work only

Any comments made by parents or schools can only be considered for context. Additional paperwork/letters, etc will not be included for the panel.

A panel will review the academic work submitted to decide if it proves your child to be of grammar ability.

Each year a number of children are found to be grammar as a result of the review process. This is up to a further 2 per cent of children in the year group.

NB: A grammar review decision does not change your child’s score. It only changes their assessment decision.

When will I know the review decision?

The reviews decisions will be advised to parents/carers by Friday 22 October 2021.

This is before the closing date for school applications, which is Sunday 31 October 2021.

What happens if I miss the closing date for Medway Test registration?

Late registrations will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances or for ‘good reason’ (e.g. serious illness, bereavement, late move to the area, etc). A letter explaining the reasons for the late registration must also be provided.

As far as reasonable practicable, late registrations for ‘good reason’ will be accepted up until Wednesday 21 July 2021.

The decision on whether a reason for late registration is acceptable will be at the
discretion of the School Admissions and Transport Management Team
Any registration received after the above date will not be accepted.

NB: This is the only opportunity for your child to sit the Medway Test.
There is no opportunity to register for or sit the Medway Test at a later
date

What is a ‘Fair Banding Test’?

This test is to assess a child’s level of ability. It is not a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ test or a selection test, it is used to ensure that students from across the ability range are admitted.

If you are thinking of applying for any of these schools as one of your preferences, you need to ensure you have registered your child to sit that school’s Fair Banding test.

More details can be found on the individual school/academy’s information page in the secondary admissions information on our website or direct from the school/academy.

If you do not register your child for the relevant Fair Banding Test, they may be at a disadvantage when being considered for a place, as they will be prioritised after all other children who have sat the test (even if there are siblings in the school, etc).

PLEASE NOTE: each school operates their own Fair Banding Test and, therefore, if you are considering more than one of these you will have to register your child with each one to sit their test.

The secondary school application and offer process

When can I apply?

OPEN
Medway residents can apply from 9am, Monday 6 September 2021

CLOSE
Applications close at 5pm, Sunday 31 October 2021

Who do I apply to?

If you live in Medway, you apply to Medway Council

If do not live in Medway, you must apply to your home local authority (e.g. if you live in Kent, you apply to Kent County Council).

What schools can I apply for?

You can apply for any secondary schools you wish (apart from special schools) irrespective of where they are. The important thing is that you must apply to your home local authority

How do I apply?

Medway residents can apply online.

Online admissions is the quickest, easiest and safest way to apply for your secondary school place. If you provide your email address when applying online you will:

  • Receive confirmation your application has been received
  • Receive details of the school offered on the offer day.
    or
    Please contact us at admissions@medway.gov.uk if you require a paper application form
How many schools can I apply for?

Medway residents can name up to 6 preferences

You do not have to name 6, but it is important to understand that the more schools you name the more chance you’ve got of receiving the offer of a school place for one of your preferences

Naming only one school does not give you a greater chance of gaining a place

Is my preference order important?
  • Medway operates an equal preference scheme
  • The order of your preferences is between the council and you
  • Schools will not be told which preference you name them at the time of application or offer.
    They may need a copy of the application for any subsequent appeal
  • Medway will look to offer your child a place at the highest named school that can offer a place and for which you child is eligible
  • No school places are offered because the school is named as first preference
  • All places are offered based on the oversubscription criteria for the school
What happens if I miss the closing date?
  • Late applications will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances or for ‘good reason’ (e.g. serious illness, bereavement, late move to the area, etc.)
  • A letter explaining the reasons for the late application must also be provided
  • As far as reasonable practicable, late applications for ‘good reason’ will be accepted up until no later than 5pm on Monday 15 November 2021
  • The decision on whether a reason for late application is acceptable will be at the discretion of the School Admissions and Transport Management Team.

Any late application received after the above date or not accepted by the School Admissions and Transport Management Team will be held pending until after 1 March 2022 and will be processed at re-allocation.

When will I find out my child’s school offer?

MEDWAY RESIDENTS

  • Secondary school places are offered on Tuesday 1 March 2022
  • Medway residents who have applied on time will be advised of their offer by Medway Council at this time
  • Medway residents who apply online, and provide an e-mail address will be sent an e-mail after 4pm on the offer day
  • Those that apply on paper will be sent a letter on this date
  • The correspondence you receive will include details of what to do next.

NON-MEDWAY RESIDENTS

  • If you live outside of Medway, and apply for a Medway schools, you will receive your offer from your home local authority
  • After the offer date, you will be able to obtain information on what you can do next regarding Medway schools from the Medway Council website.
How do Medway work out what priority my child has for a place at the schools I have named?
  • All school places are offered in accordance with the individual school’s published oversubscription criteria
  • School Admissions and Transport work in partnership with each school to ensure that all applicants are prioritised (ranked) correctly against the published oversubscription criteria
  • No school places are offered based on which preference the school is named.
How do Medway work out which school is to be offered to my child?
  • Medway operates an equal preference scheme, which means that school places are not offered based on which preference you name the school
  • Your application will be considered and prioritised against the named school’s oversubscription criteria
  • When school places are being offered, Medway Council will look to offer your child a place at the highest named school where a place can be offered and for which they are eligible
  • You will only receive the offer of one school on 1 March 2022
Will I definitely be offered a named preference?
  • We cannot guarantee that we can offer a place at one of your named schools
  • It will depend on how oversubscribed the schools named are and where your child is prioritised against the schools oversubscription criteria
  • For 2021 admissions on 1 March 2021:
    ~ 96.18% of Medway children received the offer at a school named on their application
    ~ 78.78% received the offer of a place at their first preference school.
If my child is grammar, will I definitely be offered a grammar school?

Every effort is made to ensure that a grammar assessed child is offered a grammar school.
However, this is not always possible because either:

  • A non-grammar school is offered because it is a higher named preference
    Or
  • There are no vacant grammar places available to be offered
What happens if you can’t offer my child at a school named on my application?

The council has a duty to ensure that a school place is offered on 1 March 2022 to every Medway child who has applied on time for a school place.

If we are not able to offer a place at one of your preferences, we will allocate place at the nearest ‘appropriate’ school to your home address that has vacancies.

Appropriate’ in this process means a Medway grammar school for children
assessed as grammar (under the Medway Test processes) and a Medway
non-grammar school for children assessed as non-grammar

Do I need to accept or refuse the school place offered?

You must accept or refuse the place offered on 1 March 2022 by Weds 30 March 2022.

Details of how to do this will be advised at the time of offer

If I am not happy with the school place offered, what can I do?

Full details of the next steps you can take following the school offer made on 1 March 2022 will be available at that time.
There are various options available. These are:

  • To go on the waiting list for any of the schools named on your original application*
  • To request to be considered for a Medway school for the first time
    (via the waiting list process)
  • To lodge an appeal for any of the schools named on your application but not offered.This includes Medway grammar schools, even if your child has not been assessed as grammar. Appeals are considered by an Independent Appeal Panel (not the school itself).

*Please note that you can only request to go on the waiting list for a Medway grammar school if your child has been assessed as grammar under the Medway Test procedures.

All of this information and much more can be found in the Secondary Admissions digital information guide on the Medway Council website.

If you would like to speak with Medway Council, their contact details are:

School Admissions & Transport Team
Medway Council
Gun Wharf
Dock Road
Chatham
Kent
admissions@medway.gov.uk or medwaytest@medway.gov.uk
01634 331110