County Hall has finally approved plans to delay the test by a month as a result of the impact of Covid-19 on schools and pupils, following months of speculation about whether the exam will be able to take place in September.
The test will now take place on Thursday, October 15 for pupils who attend a Kent school and from Saturday, October 17 for all other students. Kent parents will also be offered two additional preferences on their child’s secondary school application this year, an increase from four to six, to account for the later release of Kent Test results.
While all selective councils requested guidance from central Government about their preferred approach to testing during the pandemic, this remains outstanding, which has unfortunately delayed how quickly alternative plans could be finalised.
Richard Long, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said: “I am pleased to be able to provide parents with greater clarity about how the Kent Test will be delivered this year.
“The vast majority of responses that we have received have supported our plans, which are similar to those being made by nearly all local authorities and admission authorities around the country.
“I have carefully considered the responses from schools, parents and other interested parties suggesting alternative approaches, however, this plan offers the strongest opportunity to assess over 17,000 pupils who have registered for the test this year, in as fair and consistent a way as possible.
“While the delay in testing will provide an opportunity for children to settle back into a more normal school environment, we appreciate that children will have missed around four months of schooling.
“Fortunately, the Kent Test process is already designed to ensure that a child’s wider circumstances can be considered before their assessment is finalised and guidance will be provided to schools in light of the differing educational opportunities that children will have received.”
The decision is expected to be finalised on July 30 when it will be presented to the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee, but in the meantime, schools and registered families will be contacted shortly to inform them that the decision has been made.