Decisions regarding 25% selective school places in Kent

Joanne Bartley made this Freedom of Information request to Kent County Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Kent County Council,

I would like to make a Freedom of Information request regarding selective school places in Kent. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision contains plans for school places in the ‘Selective Planning Group’ for each area of Kent, to maintain 25% of secondary places in selective schools. Regarding this planning:

1. Please send information on how the decision to plan school places in 25% selective and 75% non-selective groups was initiated, please send minutes of meetings, emails, letters, memos, power point (or similar) presentations or attachments or annexes to such documents related to this initial decision.

2. Please send information pertaining to discussion of adjustments or review of the decision to maintain 25% of secondary places in selective schools. Please, in particular, provide copies of all documents including minutes, emails, letters, notes, attendance notes, power point (or similar) presentations or attachments or annexes to such documents which comprise, relate to, or evidence such discussions.

Thank you for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Joanne Bartley

 

Information request
Our reference: 10294777

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Dear Ms Bartley
   
Thank you for your email which we received on 18 November 2019.
 
Kent County Council (KCC) acknowledges your request for information, which
we will consider under the relevant legislation (Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and/or Environmental Information Regulations 2004).
 
Assuming KCC holds this information, we will endeavour to supply the data
to you as soon as possible but no later than 16 December 2019 (20 working
days from date of receipt).
 
We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information.
 
Please quote our reference - 10294777 in any communication regarding this
particular request.
 

Please see our [1]Information Rights Privacy Notice for details of how we
process your personal data.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Carly Wattle
Information Access Officer
Strategic and Corporate Services
+443000417061

 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-counci...

1 Attachment

 

Information request
Our reference: 10294777

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Dear Ms Bartley
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 18 November 2019.
 
Please find attached our response to your request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Kelly Leeson
Strategic and Corporate Services

 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

Dear Ms.Leeson,

Thank you for sending this reply. There was a Word document embedded in the PDF called '180129 Planning areas review' which would not open. Please could you send this as an attachment? I think it will open then.

However, I think that this might not be quite what I was looking for. I asked for information on the initial decision and discussion around 25% of selective places. I believe that this intitial debate, setting this selection percentage for Kent's 11-plus, would be reviewed and decided by councillors many years before 2019?

It is of course still relevant today as the 25% selective percentage is still being used. I was interested in information showing how it came about that it was set at this figure, plus any later discussion around revising it since it was initially set. I hope this clarifies my request and you can now provide this information.

You stated 'Kent is deemed a wholly selective authority by legislation' and I suspect this relates to the 25% selection figure? Is this percentage set in the legislation you refer to?

Please send information on this legislative requirement for Kent to offer selective places. I would be grateful if you could include the actual legislation, plus minutes of meetings, emails, letters, memos, power point (or similar) presentations or attachments or annexes to such documents related to this legal requirement for selective education in Kent.

Please feel free to treat this legislation question as a separate FOI request, as I realise it is a little different in scope from the first request.

I appreciate your help.

Yours sincerely,

Joanne Bartley

1 Attachment

Good morning,
 
My apologies for the issue with the document, I have attached a copy to
this email.
 
Thank you for the clarification regarding your request.  I will forward
this on to the team for a response.  I will acknowledge this in a separate
email as a 'follow on' request.
 
The final paragraph will be logged as a new request and you will shortly
receive an acknowledgement for this, with a reference number.
 
Thank you,
Kelly Leeson
Information Access Officer

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Dear Ms.Leeson,

Thank you for sending this reply. There was a Word document embedded in
the PDF called '180129 Planning areas review' which would not open. Please
could you send this as an attachment? I think it will open then.

However, I think that this might not be quite what I was looking for. I
asked for information on the initial decision and discussion around 25% of
selective places. I believe that this intitial debate, setting this
selection percentage for Kent's 11-plus, would be reviewed and decided by
councillors many years before 2019?

It is of course still relevant today as the 25% selective percentage is
still being used. I was interested in information showing how it came
about that it was set at this figure, plus any later discussion around
revising it since it was initially set. I hope this clarifies my request
and you can now provide this information.

You stated 'Kent is deemed a wholly selective authority by legislation'
and I suspect this relates to the 25% selection figure? Is this percentage
set in the legislation you refer to?

Please send information on this legislative requirement for Kent to offer
selective places. I would be grateful if you could include the actual
legislation, plus minutes of meetings, emails, letters, memos, power point
(or similar) presentations or attachments or annexes to such documents
related to this legal requirement for selective education in Kent.

Please feel free to treat this legislation question as a separate FOI
request, as I realise it is a little different in scope from the first
request.

I appreciate your help.

Yours sincerely,

Joanne Bartley

show quoted sections

 

Information request
Our reference: 10294777

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms Bartley

Thank you for your email, which I have passed on to the relevant team to
deal with. To clarify, this is now being dealt with as a follow-on query
to your previous request, under the same reference ' 10294777

The FOIA does not legislate for follow on request and therefore there is
no statutory timeframe for us to respond within. However, I will endeavour
to supply the data to you as soon as possible but no later than 17th
January 2020.

Kind regards

Kelly Leeson
Information Access Officer
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

 

Information request
Our reference: 11011277

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms Bartley
   
Thank you for your email which we received on 17 December 2019.
 
Kent County Council (KCC) acknowledges your request for information, which
we will consider under the relevant legislation (Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and/or Environmental Information Regulations 2004).
 
Assuming KCC holds this information, we will endeavour to supply the data
to you as soon as possible but no later than 17 January 2020 (20 working
days from date of receipt).
 
We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information.
 
Please quote our reference - 11011277 in any communication regarding this
particular request.
 

Please see our [1]Information Rights Privacy Notice for details of how we
process your personal data.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Carly Wattle
Information Access Officer
Strategic and Corporate Services
+443000417061
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-counci...

1 Attachment

 

Information request
Our reference: 11011277

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms Bartley
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 17 December 2019.
 
Please find attached our response to your request.
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Kelly Leeson
Strategic and Corporate Services
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

 

Information request
Our reference: 10294777

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms Bartley
 
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Thank you for your request for information made under the Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) 2000, relating to school places. Please see the
response provided below:

I believe that this intitial debate, setting this selection percentage for
Kent's 11-plus, would be reviewed and decided by councillors many years
before 2019?
It is of course still relevant today as the 25% selective percentage is
still being used. I was interested in information showing how it came
about that it was set at this figure, plus any later discussion around
revising it since it was initially set. I hope this clarifies my request
and you can now provide this information.

Following the Education Act 1944 Kent County Council adopted a tripartite
system in which the highest achieving 10% would be provided for in grammar
schools, the next 15% in technical high schools and the remaining 75% in
secondary modern schools. The grammar and technical high schools later
merged and between them continued to cater for approximately the top 25%
of the ability range. Between 1965 and 1976, changes of national
Government resulted in legislation variously supporting comprehensive and
selective education (see DfE Circular 10/65, 10/70, 4/74 and the Education
Act 1976). You can find some helpful contextual information on the
internet ' there is an informative article on grammar schools in
Wikipedia.

After central Government required LEAs to reorganise education provision
in 1965, some parts of Kent had comprehensive two tier and three-tier
systems, others had selection at 13 rather than 11 (the 'Thameside
Scheme') and some continued to select at 11. After the Education Reform
Act 1988, selection at 11 gradually re-established itself across much of
Kent, accelerated by the structure of testing within the National
Curriculum, which assumed that children would be in one setting between
Key Stages 2 and 3. Since then, the number of schools which are their own
admission authority has risen steeply, and this includes the majority of
Kent's grammar schools.

At a meeting on 11 July 1994 the Education Committee reaffirmed its
commitment to 25% selection in Kent, accepting that the proportion of the
year group transferring to grammar schools would vary slightly from year
to year and locality to locality.

The delivery of the selection process is reviewed periodically (it has
been reviewed in 1999, 2007 and 2012), but the proportion of the year
group selected has not been reviewed.

You stated 'Kent is deemed a wholly selective authority by legislation'
and I suspect this relates to the 25% selection figure? Is this percentage
set in the legislation you refer to?

No, it doesn't relate to the 25% selection figure. Kent was deemed a
wholly selective authority following the School Standards and Framework
Act 1998, when parents were empowered via the Education (Grammar School
Ballots) Regulations 1998 to petition for a ballot as to whether a grammar
school or group of schools should continue or cease to select their
intake. Kent LA was identified as a 'relevant area', meaning that any
petition required the support of 20% of the parent population. You can
find the relevant part of the legislation here:

[1]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/...

If you are unhappy with this response, and believe KCC has not complied
with legislation, you have 40 working days from the date of this response
to ask for a review. You can do this by following our complaints process;
details can be found at this link
[2]https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-counci...
on our website. Please quote reference 10294777.

If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you can appeal to
the Information Commissioner, who oversees compliance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. Details of what you need to do, should you wish to
pursue this course of action, are available from the Information
Commissioner's website [3]http://ico.org.uk/concerns

Yours sincerely
 
 
Kelly Leeson
Strategic and Corporate Services

 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1998/...
2. https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-counci...
3. http://ico.org.uk/concerns

Dear Ms Leeson,

Thank you for the helpful answer. I would like to send a follow-up request, it is fine to treat this as a new FOI if that helps.

1) Please could you send the minutes for the meeting on July 11 1994, where the education committee discussed Kent's 25% selection figure. Please also send any associated meeting papers relating to this item.

2) Please send details of the selection reviews in 1999, 2007 and 2012, including reports, meeting notes, or other papers regarding these reviews.

3) Please let me know whether there is any plan for the council to check Kent's current percentage of children claiming selective school places versus non-selective secondary places. A councillor asked for a report on this matter in the education meeting of 10th January. Please can you send me the report or email follow-ups regarding this percentage question. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Joanne Bartley

 

Information request
Our reference: 11587277

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms Bartley
   
Thank you for your email which we received on 20 January 2020.
 
 
Kent County Council (KCC) acknowledges your request for information, which
we will consider under the relevant legislation (Freedom of Information
Act 2000 and/or Environmental Information Regulations 2004).
 
Assuming KCC holds this information, we will endeavour to supply the data
to you as soon as possible but no later than 17 February 2020 (20 working
days from date of receipt).
 
We will advise you as soon as possible if we do not hold this information
or if there are exemptions to be considered and/or any costs for providing
the information.
 
Please quote our reference - 11587277 in any communication regarding this
particular request.
 

Please see our [1]Information Rights Privacy Notice for details of how we
process your personal data.

 
Yours sincerely
 
 
Kelly Leeson
Strategic and Corporate Services
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.kent.gov.uk/about-the-counci...

5 Attachments

 

Information request
Our reference: 11587277

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Ms Bartley
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 20 January 2020.
 
Please find attached our response to your request.
 
Kind regards,
Kelly Leeson
Information Access Officer
 
NOTE: Please do not edit the subject line when replying to this email.