Secondary School Offer Day 2023

Today is the day when a record number of children across Kent will find out the secondary schools at which they been offered a place from September.

More than 95% of pupils will receive an offer from one of their four preferred schools.

A total of 22,620 parents/carers (19,007 from Kent) applied for a place for their child in a Kent school for September 2023. This is 731 more than last year, and the number of Kent pupils applying has increased by 695, also setting a new record.

The number of Kent pupils offered a place at their first-preference school has gone up by 291 to 14,865 although the percentage has fallen slightly from 79.59% to 78.21%.

However, the number and percentages of those being offered their second, third or fourth choices has gone up, so the percentage of those allocated a place at a school for which they did not make a preference at all fell to under 5% - the lowest since 2018.

Rory Love, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “I am delighted to see that more than 95% of applicants have gained a place at one of their preferred schools. Of those for whom KCC has had to allocate places, nearly 90 percent did not take advantage of the opportunity to express all their preferences, leaving KCC with no choice than to select an appropriate school.

Headshot of KCC cabinet member Rory Love

Those who have been offered a school they did not choose are advised to speak to staff at that school before making a decision, as they may well find it is the perfect match for their child.

Rory Love KCC Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

“I would like to thank and congratulate the KCC staff in the admissions team who, every year, work tirelessly as they try to meet the secondary school choices of nearly 20,000 pupils and parents.

“Unfortunately, there is a small percentage of pupils for whom it has not been possible to offer one of their choices because their preferred schools are over-subscribed. I would like to reassure their families that today is only the first stage of the allocation process.

“Those who have been offered a school they did not choose are advised to speak to staff at that school before making a decision, as they may well find it is the perfect match for their child.”

Families who applied online can check their emails from 4pm today (Wednesday, 1 March) and will be able to log into their accounts from 5pm to view their offer. Those who submitted their applications on a paper form will receive their offers by post, which will be sent by first class post today.

Every year a number of children cannot be offered a place in one of their preferred schools and KCC will support these families by allocating them a place at an alternative school. That number has increased by 23 this year to 873 (4.64%).

Families should also request to join the waiting list of any school they want to continue to be considered for by Wednesday, 15 March. KCC will hold a second round of offers on Tuesday, 25 April, for any spaces that become available. Parents/carers can also appeal directly to the admissions authority of any school that could not offer their child a place.

The offer email will explain how to take up the options available.

Mr Love added: “I am also pleased to see more people than ever making use of the convenience of Kent County Council’s online application system. 18,353 applications, more than 96% of Kent’s applicants, were made this way.”

He stressed that KCC staff are ready to answer any questions that parents and carers may have throughout the remainder of the application process, and are available to offer information, advice and support.

For further advice about the admission process email:

For more information on how to join a waiting list and/or appeal go to:

  1. Parents/carers will have until Wednesday, 15 March to accept or refuse their offer and return waiting list forms.
  2. Parents/carers must also lodge any appeals for their named schools by Tuesday, 28 March to be heard on time.
  3. KCC will reallocate places from schools’ waiting lists sending out a second round of offers on Tuesday, 25 April.
  4. After Tuesday, 25 April, schools will maintain their own waiting lists and parents/carers can apply to schools direct to ask to be placed on the waiting list. (Note – only children assessed suitable for grammar school can be placed on a grammar school waiting list.)
Kent pupils20232022
No. of pupils%No. of pupils%
1st preference14,86578.2114,57479.59
2nd preference2,27711.982,08911.41
3rd preference7313.856043.30
4th preference2601.371941.06
LA allocations8734.598504.64
Total number of Kent pupil offers19,006-18,311-