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Admissions 2019 FAQs


Commonly Asked Questions

From September 2019 our Admissions Arrangements are changing to meet the basic need of providing grammar school places for more children in West Kent.

  1. Will there be a catchment area?

There will be a West Kent catchment area from which we will fill 140 places; then there will be an Outer Area from which we will fill 20 places.

  1. What score will be needed to get in?

We have set a qualifying score of 360 for each area. If we do not fill our ‘quota’ from each area, the qualifying score to fill the remaining places will be 323 (assessed suitable for grammar school) from each area. In the past three years the qualifying score on our current admissions arrangements have been 359 (2016), 369 (2017) and 358 (2018).

  1. Apart from the qualifying score how will you allocate places?

Firstly, to a small number of siblings and staff children (who meet the 360 qualifying score), then by virtue of distance from the school. So, after allocating places to Looked After Children and up to 10 children on Free School Meals, children with the qualifying score will get into the school in the following order:

a)      If they are siblings or sons of members of staff

b)      By virtue of living closest to the school

These criteria apply to both areas.

  1. How many places are available in Year 7?

The school will admit 160 boys into Year 7 divided into five forms.

  1. How many pupils apply to Skinners’?

Applicants are entitled to name up to four schools on the Secondary Common Application Form (SCAF). There were 727 SCAF applications to Skinners’ for 2018 Year 7 entry (673 of them grammar school assessed). 195 of them put Skinners’ as first choice.

6.   Are the PESE test scores weighted for age?

Yes. Youngsters born at the end of the academic year receive a weighting (the weighting is done by NFER to compensate for immaturity). 

       7.   Is there a 13+ entry at Skinners’?

No, there are no reserved places for 13+ entry (Year 9).

8.   Are there any places available in the Sixth Form for external candidates?    

There is a 95%+ stay on rate between Year 11 and Year 12 and therefore we only offer a small number of places for Year 12 entry.   Approximately 20 join the school for the Sixth Form. The Admissions Policy for September 2019 requires a total of 50 GCSE points over a pupil’s best eight subjects (with the GCSE grade 9-1 counting as the number). Places are dependent upon subject and timetable constraints.

  1. Can a parent appeal?

All parents have the statutory right to appeal against any decision refusing them a schoolplace, regardless of where they ranked the school on a SCAF. Of 50 appeals heard by an independent appeals panel, six were upheld for 2018 Year 7 entry.

  1. Do first preferences come first?

If applicants qualify for a place at two or more schools they will only be offered one place – the school they ranked highest on the SCAF (Secondary Common Application Form). It is vital therefore to put Skinners’ first if you want to come here. If you do not get into your first choice school, KCC will place you in the school that you qualify for next.

  1. Do you think these arrangements will change things?

We do not believe this will change the opportunity to get into the school for those living in the West Kent area. The qualifying score is virtually the same as before so we expect all in that area getting 360 in the Kent test to get into the school.

Clearly, if you live outside the West Kent area, given that there are fewer places available, distance will be a more critical factor. However, it is worth noting that we traditionally take about 20 pupils from Sussex: we are offering 20 places in the Outer Area, based on distance and we are under three miles from the Sussex border.

11.   If my son has a Selective score but is not offered a place at Skinners’ School, what should I do?

KCC will operate a waiting list for pupils who are not offered places in the first round of allocations. Parents who wish to have their son considered by the School in the reallocation process must inform KCC by completing the green form received with their offer letter and returning it to Sessions House in Maidstone in March 2019. Prospective candidates on the waiting list will be ranked according to the school's oversubscription criteria. Parents of eligible pupils who are denied a place have a right of appeal.  After the reallocation process is completed, the ownership of waiting lists will return to schools in April 2019 and should vacancies arise, schools will offer places to children on their waiting lists. Pupils will be offered places according to their ranking according to the School’s over-subscription criteria.   

  1. Do you have any plans to set your own test rather than using the KCC Test?

No. We plan to continue with the present testing arrangements.

Further information about our Admissions Arrangements can be found on our website under Admissions: