Every Kent secondary school rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and what inspectors had to say

Dover Grammar School for Girls
-Credit: (Image: Google Maps)


When picking a school one of the first factors many parents will consider is the Ofsted rating. Giving a clear indication into the quality of the institution, inspections of schools are conducted throughout the year to assess their overall effectiveness.

This is done by looking at the quality of the education and management from those running the schools, as well as the happiness and progression of students. Inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) regularly travel across the country to ensure that standards for education, training and care services are operating at a high standard.

This grading system works on a four point scale, whereby each school can be deemed either: grade 1 (outstanding), grade 2- (good), grade 3- (requires improvement) or grade 4- (inadequate). A school deemed inadequate will need to begin making a great deal of improvement to ensure that the school’s standards meet the necessary requirements.

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On the other end of the scale, an outstanding rating is the highest grade a school can receive and is awarded to those that are truly excelling in the field. Schools that hold such a rating are not normally subject to routine inspection and can go an entire decade without the education watchdog revisiting.

Here in Kent, there are a total of 35 secondary schools that currently hold an outstanding Ofsted rating. Such schools can be found throughout the county, including in Tunbridge Wells, Folkestone, the Medway towns and Ashford.

KentLive has listed the schools in the county that are currently rated as outstanding below. The ratings are correct as of Wednesday May 29. Some of the reports may have been published years ago and could change with an inspection in the near future.

Kent County Council area

Belle Vue School

Belle Vue School, Cranbrook
Belle Vue School, Cranbrook -Credit:Google Maps

Location: Jockey Lane, Cranbrook

Last inspection: June 14, 2022

Quote from report: “This is a happy place where pupils flourish. Lots has been achieved in the relatively short period of time since the school opened.”

Bennett Memorial Diocesan School

Location: Culverden Down, Tunbridge Wells

Last inspection: January 31, 2024

Quote from report: “Bennett Memorial is highly ambitious for its pupils. Staff deliver the sophisticated curriculum very effectively.”

Bower Grove School

Location: Fant Lane, Maidstone

Last inspection: October 15, 2019

Quote from report: “Pupils feel really happy and safe at this school. They know that staff care about them deeply and want them to achieve their very best.”

Cherry Tree

Location: All Saints Avenue, Margate

Last inspection: October 17, 2022

Quote from report: “Pupils are openly proud of Cherry Tree. They see it as ‘their’ school, although they prefer to describe it as the ‘Cherry Tree family’. They delight in showing visitors how much the school has changed their lives and their prospects.”

Cornfields School

Location: Hythe Road, Ashford

Last inspection: May 20, 2022

Quote from report: “One parent reflected the views of many when they said, ‘My child is now focused on education and has made amazing progress. Seeing my child happy whilst attending school is a wonderful sight.’”

Dartford Grammar School

Dartford Grammar School
Dartford Grammar School -Credit:Google Maps

Location: West Hill, Dartford

Last inspection: January 27, 2023

Quote from report: “Many pupils report confidently that there is ‘nothing’ to improve at this school. Parents and carers are extremely positive about their children’s experiences.”

Dover Grammar School for Girls

Location: Firth Road, Dover

Last inspection: December 5, 2013

Quote from report: “Students and staff share a love of learning. The level of challenge and intellectual rigour in lessons is consistently high and, as a result, all groups of students make rapid and sustained progress.”

Five Acre Wood School

Location: Boughton Lane, Maidstone

Last inspection: April 30, 2019

Quote from report: “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.”

Goldwyn School

Location: Godinton Lane, Great Chart

Last inspection: December 7, 2022

Quote from report: “Pupils at Goldwyn School thrive. There is a strong culture of ‘anything is possible’, and pupils’ personal development is at the heart of all that the school does.”

Gravesend Grammar School

Location: Church Walk Gravesend

Last inspection: July 17, 2015

Quote from report: “The school’s motto of ‘consule cunctis’ meaning care for all permeates all aspects of the school’s work. It fuels the powerful drive for excellence of the executive headteacher and the governors and is understood and shared by all members of the school community.”

Heath Farm School

Location: Egerton Road, Charing Heath

Last inspection: May 7, 2024

Quote from report: “School leaders and staff have a shared moral purpose to ensure that pupils have the very best education. The highly effective and ambitious curriculum blends learning, therapy and additional support in a way that matches pupils' needs precisely.”

Highworth Grammar School

Highworth Grammar School, Ashford
Highworth Grammar School, Ashford -Credit:Google Maps

Location: July 5, 2013

Last inspection:

Quote from report: “Students’ behaviour is exemplary. They receive high levels of care from the staff and feel confident that they can discuss any issues that they have with the student support managers.”

Ifield School

Location: Cedar Avenue, Gravesend

Last inspection: December 11, 2023

Quote from report: “Leaders at all levels want ‘only the best’ for pupils at Ifield School, and this is reflected in all aspects of the school. Pupils are warmly greeted as they arrive. Staff are nurturing and supportive.”

Invicta Grammar School

Location: Huntsman Lane, Maidstone

Last inspection: May 24, 2024

Quote from report: “This is an exceptional school where pupils flourish. Staff are highly ambitious for pupils’ learning.”

Laleham Gap School

Location: Ozenhell Place, Ramsgate

Last inspection: June 15, 2023

Quote from report: “The school’s motto, ‘learn, grow, succeed’, is built into the fabric of the school. The strong pastoral care helps pupils to feel safe and happy here.”

Maidstone Grammar School for Girls

Maidstone Grammar School for Girls
Maidstone Grammar School for Girls -Credit:Google Maps

Location: Buckland Road, Maidstone

Last inspection: May 10, 2023

Quote from report: “Pupils, parents and staff highly value the school’s care, ambition and history. They are proud to be members of the MGGS community.”

Mayfield Grammar School

Location: Pelham Road, Gravesend

Last inspection: July 3, 2013

Quote from report: “Staff and school leaders share the headteacher’s uncompromising vision for the school that promotes the learning and progress of every student within a caring and cohesive community. As a result, achievement in all subjects including English and mathematics is exceptionally high.”

Meadowfield School

Location: Swanstree Avenue, Sittingbourne

Last inspection: May 20, 2024

Quote from report: “Staff provide personalised strategies to help pupils achieve success in their learning. The school is sharply focused on making sure that pupils are well prepared for their futures.”

School of Science and Technology Maidstone

Location: New Cut Road, Maidstone

Last inspection: March 13, 2023

Quote from report: “Pupils thrive at this school. Leaders have exceptionally high expectations for what pupils can achieve.”

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys

Location: Langton Lane, Canterbury

Last inspection: December 5, 2013

Quote from report: “The development of students’ intellectual skills and ethical integrity underpins the school’s approach to education. Students assimilate valuable attitudes and attributes through the school’s philosophy and ethos.”

Snowfields Academy

Location: Popesfield Way, Weavering

Last inspection: September 15, 2023

Quote from report: “The school’s motto of ‘where nurture meets aspiration’ permeates the school. From the moment pupils join, they begin to develop the knowledge and skills they will need to move onto paid employment later in life.”

The Beacon Folkestone

The Beacon in Folkestone
The Beacon in Folkestone -Credit:Google Maps

Location: Park Farm Road, Folkestone

Last inspection: March 9, 2020

Quote from report: “Leaders have created a warm, nurturing environment throughout the school. Pupils are happy and feel safe. They speak with enthusiasm about how staff listen to them.”

The Folkestone School for Girls

Location: Coolinge Lane, Folkestone

Last inspection: October 25, 2012

Quote from report: “Students excel through personal development and academic study; all achieve very well. Students, including those in the sixth form, love learning and derive great fulfilment from their work and the abundance of inspiring extra-curricular activities.”

The Harvey Grammar School

Location: Cheriton Road, Folkestone

Last inspection: February 9, 2023

Quote from report: “Staff are proud of the school’s commitment to pupils regardless of their social background. There is staunch support for equality and a deep appreciation of diversity. Pupils value the academic ethos supported by a well-organised programme of personal development, welfare and well-being.”

The Judd School

Location: Brook Street, Tonbridge

Last inspection: June 5, 2015

Quote from report: “The school’s history and traditions contribute very strongly to the sense of community. Staff and students are extremely proud to be part of the school.”

The Quest School

Location: Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood

Last inspection: January 25, 2023

Quote from report: “The education that pupils receive is exceptional. The school motto, ‘achievements never thought possible,’ sums up life here.”

Tonbridge Grammar School

Location: Deakin Leas, Tonbridge

Last inspection: November 8, 2019

Quote from report: “Pupils are motivated and interested because their knowledgeable teachers understand their needs and plan very demanding lessons. As a result, pupils thoroughly enjoy school and achieve exceptionally well.”

Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School

Tunbridge Wells' Girls Grammar School was the third best in the country based on GCSE results
Tunbridge Wells' Girls Grammar School was the third best in the country based on GCSE results -Credit:Google

Location: Southfield Road, Tunbridge Wells

Last inspection: November 10, 2023

Quote from report: “Staff foster a love of each subject so that all pupils thrive in their phase and are well prepared for their next stages of learning. As a result, pupils enjoy school.”

West Heath School

Location: Ashgrove Road, Sevenoaks

Last inspection: December 8, 2022

Quote from report: “All staff work hard to build pupils’ resilience and self-esteem. This was typified by one teacher describing the need to be ‘emotionally astute’ and the absolute imperative for staff to be ‘clever at reading the learners and understand their needs, including their many barriers to achieving’.”

Wilmington Academy

Location: Common Lane, Wilmington

Last inspection: June 27, 2023

Quote from report: “Wilmington Academy is an exceptional school providing a world-class education for its pupils and sixth formers. The International Baccalaureate (IB) philosophy is at the heart of the curriculum.”

Medway Council area

Abbey Court Foundation Special School

Location: Rede Court Road, Strood

Last inspection: May 17, 2023

Quote from report: “Abbey Court provides an inspirational physical and emotional environment in which pupils thrive and enjoy their education. A safe, nurturing atmosphere is combined with a sense of ambition and determination that every pupil should benefit from a rich, broad learning experience – and they do.”

Bradfields Academy

Bradfields Academy, Chatham
Bradfields Academy, Chatham -Credit:Google Street View

Location: Churchill Avenue, Chatham

Last inspection: January 25, 2023

Quote from report: “This is a kind and caring school where pupils flourish. They arrive at school each day smiling and keen to find out what they will be learning.”

Fort Pitt Grammar School

Location: Fort Pitt Hill, Chatham

Last inspection: November 16, 2022

Quote from report: “Pupils love coming to school and their attendance is extremely high. The school’s values of ‘aspirational, resilient, collaborative, respectful and successful’ pervade all aspects of school life.”

Rochester Independent College

Location: St Margaret’s Banks, Rochester

Last inspection: February 4, 2008

Quote from report: “The quality of education provided is outstanding. Students of all abilities, including those who have experienced difficulties with education previously, make outstanding progress.”

Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School

Location: Maidstone Road, Rochester

Last inspection: May 19, 2023

Quote from report: “Pupils and students are thoughtful, polite, courteous and respectful. The school’s culture helps them to feel safe and happy. Their behaviour is exceptional.”

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