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Education watchdogs say Maidstone special school is outstanding

Tuesday 14th May 2019

EDUCATION watchdogs have praised staff at a special school for their “relentless focus on raising standards”.

Five Acre Wood – which operates from sites in Loose, Snodland and Maidstone – has been designated “outstanding” by Ofsted inspectors.

Officials Susan Conway and Catherine Davies say they quizzed pupils, ploughed through 48 parent questionnaire responses, analysed surveys from seven students and 99 members of staff, sorted through documentation and observed lessons before making their ruling.

Publishing their findings last month following a school visit on March 28, Ms Conway said: “The leadership team, staff and governors are passionate about the school and have high aspirations for the pupils… the curriculum is rich and highly tailored to meet pupils’ needs.”

Five Acre Wood caters for children and young people, aged two to 19, who have profound, severe and complex learning difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder.

It has more than 425 pupils and 300 staff, and is supported by a school nursing team, NHS physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and a family liaison team. 

The school is based in Boughton Lane, Loose, but has satellite classes at The Holmsdale School and Eastborough Primary.

Principal Peggy Murphy said “My role at Five Acre Wood is to ensure, above all things, that our children are happy and safe.

“I know, because of the focus of my incredible senior leadership team, as well as the work of my dedicated and passionate staff, that our students are happy and safe.

“This means we can get on with the important job of educating, guiding and nurturing our students and giving them every possible opportunity both whilst they are in our school and in their future lives.

“The outstanding classification from Ofsted recognises that we are doing this job to the very highest possible standard. It is a truly glowing report.”