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 Post subject: Is the Kent test fair?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:24 pm 
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I know this may spark up a few disagreements, but I really think it's unfair that children in north west Kent have to take the Kent test on one day in an alien place compared to south Kent children over two days in their own surroundings (correct me if I'm wrong on this last bit). My son and other children 'up here' will be getting up about 6.30am, driving for about an hour to the test site and will be sitting 4 exams in 6 hours with no lunch, just a snack so I've been told. I would understand it if all the grammar schools in Kent were miles away and we were taking up all the 'south' Kent grammar places. However, our local Kent grammar school is only approx. 15 minutes away. How can this be right? I live in the Borough of Bromley, but I'm still in Kent. What do you all think?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:28 pm 
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isn't it a different LEA?


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:43 pm 
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Well, it comes under Kent county I think, but having said that, there is an overlap - some suburbs in the London Borough of Bromley are in Kent which is where I am. My point is, though, our local Kent grammar school is reasonably near by (15 mins away) and some children south of the school will be taking the test for the school in much better conditions than people north of the school, even though we all live in Kent.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Agree. I think it is unfair. Having said that we were in the same position and had to get up at 6.30am back in September to be in the depths of Kent to sit the test. They do a practice the week before so they will be familiar with the setting and our children had the same lady in the practice and the real test. To be honest they all found it rather fun. I took my sister with me on the drive down because I wasn't sure the parking wouldn't be rammed and I could get out and walk my daughter in without worrying. In the event there was space to park and everyone on the last stretch of road took the same exit and drove to the exam site. All the individual schools were together and they did the exam in classrooms so effectively small groups. Other children I know took the test in Dartford and were in a large hall which I personally think is much more intimidating. With regards to the early start this was a massive incentive for us to have very early nights (old wives tale - the hours before midnight are worth twice those after). For a fortnight before the exam we had early nights and alarm clocks set for 6.30am so it wasn't a shock on the day. They were exhausted afterwards though.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:42 pm 
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I thought it was unfair too, but when I looked into it further I wasn't sure. Sitting it over two days can be nerve-wracking. Schools on a working day do not always provide a good test environment. And the test results as a whole for the children sitting it all in one go on the Saturday morning are better than for the children who do it over two days in school.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:04 pm 
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I'm in two minds. As an OOC from previous years (although with a Kent grammar being our closest school) it does seem an awful lot to put children through but from a logistical point of view, you can't expect KCC to provide invigilators for two mornings to every OOC school for children to sit the exam in their own surroundings. Who would fund that, especially in the current economic climate?

mystery wrote:
And the test results as a whole for the children sitting it all in one go on the Saturday morning are better than for the children who do it over two days in school.
I'd say it's probably more to do with borderline OOC candidates being less likely to sit the exams - there'd be little point as OOC can only apply for the super selectives.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:35 am 
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Location: Kent
The 'north' 'south' divide you mention isn't the case (or at least not that I am aware of). Those sitting on a single day are Out of County Applicants, which is entirely different. You may live in Kent buy if your LEA isn't KCC then you are not 'in', but 'out'.... All very confusing!

As for if they are fair, I didn't consider them to be on DS3 but for DS1 and DS2 they passed so wasn't fussed either way :? The LA have to find some method of 'selection' and given the 'access for all' opportunities available it can't be by teacher assessment, because the teacher may have an ulterior motive to put a particular child forward.

I do agree that there should be a 'Kent Test' but strongly feel it should be on a level playing field, and that the LA have a duty to advise all parents that while they don't recommend tutoring, many parents do this for their DC. Then parents could make an informed choice, instead of living in a bubble having been told by the teacher it wasn't necessary. (although it didn't escape my attention that DS3's former Y6 teacher is now considering doing extra tuition out of school to boost his income, which makes me feel a wally for believing his 'standard' advise when he knows tutoring is the norm and I thought nobody was doing it :roll: )

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:41 pm 
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There was a lot of complaining done a few years back when Medway changed from tests done at school to a central venue on a Saturday morning but it is fair on all children as no-one is in their 'comfort zone' and all children are tested equally. As for practice tests, Medway don't even do these. The Kent test system does appear to favour some children in the way it is done.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:44 pm 
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kentsussex border, it's not actually the case that the Saturday morning cohort is entirely made up of children applying for superselectives, and therefore likely to score higher.

If your child attends a non-Kent school, you end up doing the test on Saturday morning even if you live in Kent. Also, children who attend some independents in Kent and live in Kent end up doing the Saturday test too. There are a few independents where children can sit the Kent test during the week, but at many you cannot.

The reason I looked into it was because I was considering sending my children over the boundary to a state primary outside Kent, as we live in Kent, but close to the boundary. I was trying to find out if this would put them at a disadvantage due to the test all being in one morning. In the end I decided I would never know which was better; looking at the circumstances in which the test is taken at their current Kent primary, I would rather they went to Saturday morning test centre!!

The thing that I thought might put children not in Kent state primaries at a disadvantage is the headteacher's review.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:45 pm 
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Location: East Kent
The name "Kent Test" is a bit misleading, as it refers to area of KCC Local Authority. Not the county of Kent in its entirety.

http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/fam ... entrds.jpg shows area covered by KCC LA.


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