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Five Acre Wood School rated Outstanding after Ofsted inspect Loose, Snodland and Maidstone sites

By Luke May

A special needs school supporting children across Maidstone and Snodland has kept its top ranking.

Five Acre Wood School, which has sites in Loose, Maidstone and Snodland has been rated Outstanding by Ofsted.

Inspectors heaped praise on the school's tailored approach to teaching children with special educational needs.

Ofsted inspector Susan Conway wrote: "The school meets the often extremely complex needs of its pupils well.

"The development of staff is a major priority of the school and is key to its success. All staff are fully trained to support the pupils. This has become of increasing importance, given the widening range of health and care needs that pupils have.

"Staff have a comprehensive knowledge of individual pupils and understand the learning approach that best suits each pupil’s needs."

Five Acre Wood School. Picture: Chris Davey FM5002659
Five Acre Wood School. Picture: Chris Davey FM5002659

Five Acre Wood School is a place to learn and develop for SEN children aged between two and 19-years-old.

The latest Ofsted ranking follows an inspection in March. It comes four years after the schools inspectorate gave Five Acre Wood its first ever Outstanding ranking.

The main school site is in Boughton Lane, Loose.

Five Acre Wood School principal Peggy Murphy
Five Acre Wood School principal Peggy Murphy

It also has satellite sites at The Holmesdale School in Malling Road, Snodland and at Valley Invicta Primary School at East Borough, in Vinters Road, Maidstone.

One parent said of the school: "My child has made amazing progress at this school. Communication between myself and the school is highly effective. I feel the school has a strong leadership, who make time for every one of their pupils."

Principal Peggy Murphy's leadership was described as "inspirational" by Ms Conway.

Mrs Murphy said: "My role 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 and I am delighted to share this news."

The school introcuded two new puppies as therapy dogs in March.

For more stories covering education in Kent, click here.

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