Admissions and Appeals Procedure

Admissions Legislation

From September 2010 all applications for a school place, during the coordinated round (Year 6 into Year 7) must be made to the home local authority (KCC, if you live in Kent). School places can only be offered by the Local Authority, not the school. The exception to this is when a place is awarded on appeal, by an Independent Appeals Panel. This is a legal requirement set in legislation.  For additional information please visit the KCC website.  From September 2013 responsibility for handling in-year admissions reverts to the school. Therefore, if you wish to apply for your son to come to NKS, you should contact the school for details of the casual admissions process. 

What type of school is The Norton Knatchbull School?

The Norton Knatchbull School is a Selective School which means that entry is via a pass in the Kent Test (for Year 7) or a pass in our Casual Admissions Entrance Exam (taken by Year 7 after 31st December of year of entry and by Years 8 to 11).

What is the capacity of the school?

Our Published Admission Number (PAN) is 210 for Years 7-11, and 165 for Years 12 and 13.

The school is a selective Grammar School.  Entrance to the school will be determined via the Kent Procedure for Entrance to Secondary Schools (PESE) Age 11 Assessment Process and Tests.  Applicants should be age 11 as of September 1st 2019.  Under age applicants may be accepted at the discretion of the school. 

Our current numbers on roll (updated 18th July 2019) are:

Year 7 – 194
Year 8 – 171
Year 9 – 216
Year 10 – 165
Year 11 – 168
Sixth Form – 239

TOTAL - 1153

These numbers fluctuate throughout the academic year as students move into/out of the area.

The Admissions Booklet “Admission to Secondary School in Kent 2019″ can be found by following this link


All applicants complete their Local Authority (LA) Secondary Common Application Form (SCAF) which is returned to their LA.  On the SCAF all schools applied to are listed in order of preference.  This order is used by the LA when allocating applicants to schools.  Further information on admissions can be found in the booklet on admissions to secondary school which is published by Kent County Council (KCC).

Useful Addresses

The Norton Knatchbull School                      
Address: Hythe Road, Ashford, Kent. TN24 0QJ                                                                              
Tel: 01233 620045                                                                                    

Kent Admissions Office                                     
Address: Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, Kent.  ME14 1XQ
Tel: 01622 696565


Applicants must reach the required standard in the Kent PESE process. This includes tests in Mathematics, Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning. The tests are marked and the scores age standardised.  Applicants also complete a piece of writing under controlled conditions. This is not marked, but may be considered during the Head Teacher Assessment stage of the process.

Only applicants who gain the ‘grammar’ classification by this process are eligible to be considered for a place at the school.

For applicants with Special Educational Needs (SEN), the home Local Authority assesses whether the school is suitable. This is usually done through the testing process explained above. If special testing arrangements are required (e.g., for a visual impairment), requests should be made to the Kent Admissions Office. Applications from students with SEN who gain the ‘grammar’ classification will be considered in accordance with the Revised Admissions Code legislation before the application of the oversubscription criteria.  If students with SEN are admitted, the published admissions number will be reduced accordingly to take account of the allocation of that place.

Appealing for a Year 7 place at The Norton Knatchbull School for September 2020

KCC will issue offer letters to all parents of prospective Year 7 students on 1st March 2020, which will state the school that the child has been allocated. Parents who are not happy with the school that their child has been allocated can appeal this decision. The letter issued by KCC will include details of how to appeal against that decision together with a clear timetable outlining the deadlines for this process.

If you want to appeal for a place at The Norton Knatchbull School you should send your appeal form to Mrs. S. Butcher, Headteacher's P.A., by Friday 27th March 2020 at the latest.  An appeal form can be found on the KCC website


If your child is due to start secondary school in September 2020 you can appeal between 1st March and 27th March 2020 to guarantee that your appeal will be heard by 12th June 2020. For applications made in the normal admission round, appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals.  For late applications, appeals should be heard within 40 schools days from the deadline for lodging appeals where possible, or within 30 schools days of the appeals being lodged.

Please note that The Norton Knatchbull School uses KCC for its appeals and therefore, any parents who wish to appeal for a place at NKS for September 2019 should contact KCC if they have any queries regarding this process.

Oversubscription Criteria

If the number of preferences for the school is more than the number of places available, places will be allocated to eligible boys in the following priority order -

Children in Local Authority Care

A child under the age of 18 yeas for whom Kent County Council provides accommodation by agreement with their parents/carers (Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) or who ceased to be so because they were adopted or who is the subject of a care order under Part IV of the Act.

Current Family Association

A brother or sister attending the school when the child starts. In this context brother or sister means children who live as brother or sister in the same house, including natural brothers or sisters, adopted siblings, stepbrothers or sisters and foster brothers and sisters.  If siblings, from multiple births (twins, triplets etc.) apply for a school and the school would reach its Published Admission Number (PAN) after admiting one or more, but before admitting all of those siblings, the LA will offer a place to each of the sibling, even if doing so takes the school above its PAN.

Health and Special Access Reasons

Medical/Health and Special access Reasons will be applied in accordance with the school’s legal obligations, in particular those under the Equality Act 2010.  Priority will be given to those children whose mental or physical impairment means they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend a particular school.  Equally this priority will apply to children whose parents’/guardians’, physical or mental health or social need means there is a demonstrable and significant need for their child to attend a particular school.  Such claims will need to be supported by written evidence from a suitably qualified medical or other practitioner who can demonstrate a special connection between these needs and the particular school.

Nearness of children’s homes to school

The distance between the child’s permanent home address and the school is measured in a straight line using Ordnance Survey address point data.  Distances are measured from a point defined as within the child’s home to a point defined as within the school as specified by Ordnance Survey.  The same address point on the school site is used for everybody.  When we apply the distance criterion for an oversubscribed Community or Voluntary Controlled school, these straight line measurements are used to determine how close each applicant’s address is to the school.


If you wish your child to join the school outside of the usual Kent Test arrangements, you can contact the school's Admissions Officer, Mrs. E. Seccombe, at to arrange to have your child tested. The test we use is a Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT). Further information on this test can be found by visiting and clicking on the new CAT4 graphic. This page explains how the CAT is used to assess ability but is for information only – parents cannot buy CAT practice papers. However, the test is very similar in format to the 11+ Exam and the multiple choice practice papers for this test are the nearest thing you can buy for your child to practice on at home. There is a link on the GL Assessment website to buy 11+ multiple choice papers on-line, or you can purchase them from most large bookshops. Although the age range for the 11+ is 9 to 11 years, the format can be practiced by all age groups as preparation for the CAT.

We usually test once a month throughout the academic year, as close as possible to the date at which you wish your child to join the school, and the testing opportunities on the calendar are as follows:

     Tuesday 10th September 2019

     Tuesday 8th October 2019

     Tuesday 19th November 2019

     Tuesday 10th December 2019

     Tuesday 21st January 2020

     Thursday 25th  February 2020

     Tuesday 17th March 2020

     Wedneday 21st April 2020

     Wednesday 6th May 2020

     Thursday 30th June 2020

     Tuesday 11th July 2020

You can only have your child tested for casual admission to the school once per academic year, and the test will only be valid for the academic year for which your child was tested.  

If your child takes and passes the test, will he be offered a place at NKS?

The offer of a place following a successful result in the test will depend upon a place being available in the appropriate year group. Should the PAN in the relevant year group be reached or exceeded, we will not be able to offer a place, although we will put your child on our waiting list if you wish.

You do also have the right to appeal on your child’s behalf to an Independent Appeals Panel. If you have applied for a place at the school and your child has been tested here, you have the right to appeal if your application is turned down, regardless of whether your child has been assessed as selective or not. Unsuccessful applicants may appeal against the decision by writing to Mrs. Sue Butcher, Headteacher's P.A., stating clearly the reasons why they feel they should be admitted to the school.  If your appeal is unsuccessful your child cannot test or appeal again for the same academic year. 

Contact details:
Casual admissions: Mrs E Seccombe –  or 01233 620045 ext 262
Examinations Officer: Mrs E Seccombe – or 01233 620045 ext 262


The School has a Published Admissions Number of 165 in both Year 12 and Year 13. The majority of our Sixth Form students are male although we have around 25% of female students on roll.

Students entering the Sixth Form will be expected to have gained at least six B grades overall and at least a C grade in English and Mathematics, at GCSE level  Additionally, there are further entry requirements for each subject in the Sixth Form curriculum, and these are specified in the Sixth Form Prospectus. Offers will be made on the basis of predicted performance at GCSE, with the requirement that those grades are achieved in the final examinations prior to entry to the Sixth Form.

We will firstly admit all our current Year 11 students who meet the entry. We will then offer places to external applicants, irrespective of gender, who meet the entry criteria on a strictly first-come, first-served basis, until our PAN of 165 is reached.

Interested applicants will be invited to attend our Sixth Form Open Evening, details of which will be published on the school website and on the KentChoices4U website. Student wishing to apply for entrance to the Sixth Form must complete an application form (including an on-line application using the KentChoices4U website) that should be submitted to the school by the published date.

Late applications will be considered if there are still spaces available.

In the case of over-subscription, the school will apply the same criteria as those which pertain to admissions in Years 7-11.

Unsuccessful applicants may appeal against the decision by writing to Mrs. Sue Butcher, Headteacher's P.A., stating clearly the reasons why they feel they should be admitted to the school.