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Maidstone & District Primary Schools

 Updated May 2020

Coronavirus: There are a number of articles on this site exploring the implications of the pandemic on school applications and appeals. You will find them by putting 'Coronavirus' in the search engine on the top left hand corner of this page. This page contains outcomes of Ofsted Inspections carried out up until 4th February 2020, the last ones published before schools were closed. I estimate about another 10 will have been completed but results are waiting until schools are opened, which may not be until September. I think it most unlikely there will be any more this school year.  

Entries on this page include the OFSTED Grade for each Primary School updated twice a year, also recording change from previous Inspection result, together with some other relevant information below. It is worth using the search engine on the Home Page to pick up other references to individual schools.

You will find advice on Primary school Admissions and Appeals here

You can read the full Report on each Primary School at OFSTED. Each school is awarded a main Grade: Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement (previously Satisfactory), and Inadequate (two sub categories - A school that has serious weaknesses is inadequate overall and requires significant improvement but leadership and management are judged to be Grade 3 or better - A school that requires special measures is one where the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education and the school’s leaders, managers or governors have not demonstrated that they have the capacity to secure the necessary improvement in the school). Each Report carries a brief description of the school before justifying its decision in more detail. If a school is in Special Measures or Serious Weaknesses, the results of further monitoring visits are noted.

A majority of the schools that have previously had a 'Good' or 'Outstanding' assessment are given a Short Inspection (known as Section 8). These are indicated by 'Good (S). These will be confirmed in their assessment grade. However for some of these schools, the Inspection Team may consider that there are concerns, or in the case of a Good school, grounds for raising the Grade and this can only be done by a full Section Five Grade. These are recorded for example as  'Outstanding (SC) or 'Good (SR). 

You will find an analysis of oversubscription and vacancies for  Maidstone and District Primary Places for September 2019 Allocations here, for 2018 here, for 2017 here, and for 2016 here.

You will find a commercial site providing a comprehensive analysis of  different 11 Plus exams, preparation and appeals at 11 Plus Exams.

Reports on Inspections between between September 2018 and July 2019  are in the first table, followed by other tables containing older ones.

(A) Indicates the school is an Academy (2017 onwards) (Fr) Free School 

OFSTED REPORTS Sep 2019-Feb 2020
School OFSTED Grade Date Change
Sandling Good (S) Feb 20 No change
Senacre Wood Good (S) Dec 19 No change
St Paul's Infant Good (S) Jan 20 No change
Holy Family Catholic (A) Requires Improvement Sep 19 No change
Tiger (Fr) Requires Improvement* Nov 19 Down one

* Excerpt: Teachers are hazy about how the knowledge and skills pupils gain in one year are built upon for the next.

OFSTED REPORTS Sep 2018-Jul 2019
School OFSTED Grade Date Change
Archbishop Courtenay (A)* Requires Improvement Jul 19 Up one
Barming (A)** Good Jul 19 Up two
Greenfields Community*** Good May 19 No change
Langley (A) Good Jun 19 1st Insp, New
Oaks (A) Good (SU) Oct 18 No change
St Francis Catholic Good (S) Sep 18 No change
Tree Tops (A) Good Jun 19 Up one
Yalding, Sts Peter & Paul, VC Good Jan 19 No change
 * Archbishop Courtenay CE Primary School After academisation  with the Diocese of Canterbury Academies Trust (Aquila )and a difficult time previously
**Barming Primary School After academisation with Orchard Academy Trust (Allington Primary) and a difficult time previously
***Greenfields Community Primary School saw no change after a previous Short Inspection recommended possibility of Outstanding


OFSTED Grade Date Change
Boughton Monchelsea Good Mar 18 No change
Brunswick House Good Feb 18 No change
Greenfields Good (SU) Jun 18 No change 
Harrietsham CofE Good Jun 18 No change 
Lenham Good Jun 18  No change 
Mole Hill (A) Good Jan 18 Up one
North Borough Junior Good Jun 18 No change 
Platts Heath Requires Improvement May 18 Down One
St Michael's Junior  Good  Mar 18 No change 
South Borough Good Jan 18 Up one
Jubilee Free School Outstanding Jul 17 First Inspection
Sutton Valence Good Dec 17 Up one 
Wateringbury CofE Good Nov 17 Up one




OFSTED Grade Date Change
Jubilee Free School Outstanding Jul 17 First Inspection
Loose Primary Outstanding Nov 16
First inspection 
Leeds & Broomfield CofE Primary Good Oct 16 Up one
Hunton CofE Primary Good July 16 No change
Hollingbourne Primary Good Jan 17 No change
Laddingford St Mary's CofE VC Good Jul 17 No change
Mereworth Community Primary Good Mar 17 No change
Kingswood Primary Good Mar 17 No change
Holy Family Catholic Primary Requires Improvement May 17 No change
Tree Tops Primary Academy Requires Improvement May 17 No change
Brunswick House Primary
Effective action to tackle areas
requiring improvement
Jun 17
Madginford Primary Good Jun 17 Down one
West Borough Primary Good Jun 17 Up one





Date Change
Barming** Effective action to remove SM Nov 15
Ineffective action to remove SM Feb 16
Brunswick House* Requires Improvement Feb 16 Down one
Molehill Requires Improvement Dec 15 Up one
Roseacre Junior Outstanding May 16 Up one
Sandling Good May 16 No change
St Paul's Infant Good May 16 No change
Senacre Wood Good Jan 16 Up one
Sutton Valence Requires Improvement  Nov 15 No change
Tiger Free School Good  Jan 16  Up one
Ulcombe Good Apr 16 Up one


* According to the OFSTED report there was an issue at the school a Section 8 Inspection that was upgraded to a full Inspection. The Report suggests it was to do with Governance or Safeguarding, following a KCC Review of the issue. 

** Barming to become an Academy sponsored by Allington Primary Trust


Excerpt from Maidstone Section of article on Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Primary schools 2015: "Most popular school is St Michael’s CofE Infants with two consecutive Outstanding OFSTEDs, 60 first choices turned away, followed by Brunswick House Primary with 45, St John’s CofE on 31 and East Borough on 30. Apart from St John’s, the enormous pressures of a few years ago in the Bearsted area appear to have diminished".




Date Change
Barming Special Measures Jan15 Down One
LA Statement of Action fit for Purpose
School action plan fit for purpose
Jun 15
Coxheath Good Feb 15 Up one
East Borough  Good May 15 No change
Leeds and Bromfield CofE Requires Improvement Oct 14 No change
Molehill Copse (A)
Reasonable progress towards removal of SM
sponsor’s statement of action fit for purpose.
 Nov 14
Palace Wood Requires Improvement Feb15 No change
Park Way Primary  Good  Jan 15  Up one
Platts Heath Good May 15 Up one
St Francis Catholic Good Feb 15 Up two
St John's CofE
Outstanding July 15 Up one
Tree Tops Academy  Reasonable progress towards removal of SM  Dec 14
 Requires Improvement  Mar 15  Up one

Information from Oversubscription Survey of Kent primary schools, for entry September 2014.

In Maidstone, which has featured for several years as a major problem area, the issues in Bearsted appear to have settled down after the enlargement of St John’s CofE to 60 children last year. It has 7 vacancies, not filling for the first time in many years with Thurnham CofE Infants just 2 oversubscribed. Madginford Park Infants to the west of the district has increased its popularity further, remaining the most sought after school in Maidstone with 42 first choices turned away.




Date Change
Archbishop Courtenay  Requires Improvement Mar 14 Up one
Boughton Monchelsea Good Feb 14 No change
Harrietsham Good Nov 13 Up one
Greenfields Community Good May 14 Up one
Lenham Good Oct 13 No change
Loose Infant Requires Improvement Sep 13 Down one
Madginford Park Junior Special Measures Oct 13 Down one
Good progress from SM
School to merge with Infant School
Feb 14
Reasonable progress toward removal of SM
Jul 14
Molehill Copse Serious Weaknesses Dec 13 Down one

School action plan fit for purpose.
Academy statement of action not fit for purpose

May 14
North Borough Junior Good Jun 14 Up one
Oaks Academy Good Feb 14 Up one
St Francis Catholic Reasonable progress in removing SM Dec 13
Reasonable progress in removing SM Jul 14
St Michael's CofE Infants Outstanding Jan 14 No change
St Michael's CofE Junior  Good Dec 13 Up one
Senacre Wood Requires Improvement Oct 13 Down one
Sutton Valence Requires Improvement Sep 13  No change
Tree Tops Academy Special Measures Dec 13 No Change
Satisfactory progress from SM Feb 14
Reasonable progress to remove SM Jul 14
Ulcombe CofE Requires Improvement Dec 13 No change

 You will find an article commenting on the dreadful history of Tree Tops and Molehill Copse here

2012-13 OFSTED Reports



Date Change
Archbishop Courtney  Special Measures Nov 12 Down one
Reasonable prog from SM Mar 2013
Reasonable prog form SM Jun 13
Barming Requires Improvement Jan 13 No change
Coxheath Requires Improvement Feb 13 No change
East Borough Requires Improvement Apr 13 No change
Greenfields Requires Improvement Oct 12 No change
Holy Family RC Requires Improvement Nov 12 No change
Kingswood Good May 13 No change
Laddingford St Mary’s CofE VC Good Jun 13

Up one

Leeds & Bromfield Requires Improvement Nov 12 No change
Loose Infant Requires Improvement Jun 13 Down one
North Borough Junior Requires Improvement Nov 12 No change
Palace Wood Requires Improvement Mar 13 No change
Park Way  Requires Improvement Mar 13 No change
South Borough Junior Requires Improvement Oct 12 No change
St Francis' Catholic   Special Measures Mar 13 Down one
Local authority statement of action not fit for purpose
School action plan not fit for purpose
Jul 13
Tree Tops Academy Insufficient progress Dec 12

An article elsewhere on this website highlights issues with some Maidstone primary school OFSTEDs in 2012-13. As can be seen from the above, the situation did not improve in the summer (nor for 2013-14 so far). 

 Pre September 2012 Reports  

School Grade Date Further Information
Archbishop Courtenay Primary Satisfactory May 2010
Barming Primary Satisfactory Mar 2011
Bell Wood Community Primary Special Measures Dec 2009
Satisfactory Progress May 2010,
Nov 2011, Mar 2011, Jun 2011,
Inadequate progress Nov 2011. See below
Bell Wood Community Primary Notice to Improve Feb 2012 See above
Boughton Monchelsea Primary Good Jun 2011
Bredhurst CofE VC Primary Outstanding Nov 2011
Brookfield Infant Good Feb 2011
Brunswick House Primary Good Sep 2010
Burham CofE Primary Satisfactory Jun 2011
Coxheath Primary Satisfactory Jul 2011
 Ditton CofE Junior Satisfactory Nov 2010 Inadequate progress, Jan 11
East Borough Primary Satisfactory Sep 2010
Greenfields Community Primary Inadequate progress Mar 2011 Monitoring Inspection of Grade 3 School
Harrietsham Primary Satisfactory Sep 2011
Hollingbourne Primary Good Feb 2011
Holy Family RC Primary Notice to Improve Oct 2011 Satisfactory PRogress Jun 2012
Laddingford St Mary's CofE Primary Satisfactory Feb 2011
Loose Junior Good May 2011
Madginford Park Junior Satisfactory Feb 2012
Molehill Copse Primary Notice to Improve Dec 2010 Satisfactory progress, May 2011, see below
Molehill Copse Primary Satsisfactory Jan 2012 see above
More Park RC Primary Satisfactory Sep 2010
Oak Trees Community Special Measures Jan  2010

Sat progress Jun 2010, Nov 2010, Mar 2011

See below

Oak Trees Community Satisfactory Nov 2011
Palace Wood Primary Satisfactory Nov 2010
Park Way Primary Satisfactory Oct 2010
Platts Heath Primary Satisfactory May 2010
Roseacre Junior Good Jan 2012
Sandling Primary Good Mar 2012
St Francis' RC Primary Satisfactory Sep 2010
St Mark's CofE Primary, Eccles Satisfactory Jan 2012
St Michael's CofE Infant Outstanding Jun 2011
St Michael's CofE Junior Notice to Improve Nov 2010 Good Progress Jul 2011
St Paul's Infant Good May 2012
St Peter's CofE Primary, Aylesford Satisfactory Nov 2010
 Sutton Valence Primary Satisfactory Oct 2011
Ulcombe CofE Primary Satisfactory Nov 2011
Wateringbury CofE Primary Satisfactory Feb 2011
West Borough Primary Satisfactory Jun 2011 Acting Headteacher

Issues with admissions 2012 entry (written March 2012)

The first problems I heard about in Maidstone were centred on the Bearsted area, where families are used to going to one of three schools: Madginford Park Infants, Thurnham CofE Infants  and St John's CofE Primary. A part of the problem has been created by the large number of siblings gaining places at Thurnham, so that the distance limit for other children shrank drastically from 4.9 miles to 0.6 miles. However, a look at the application figures shows this is nowhere near a full explanation of the problem. For 2011 entry, 28 first choices were turned away in total from the three schools. For September 2012 entry, this figure has leaped to 93 first choices turned away, although it is not clear where all the additional applications came from. In fact Madginford Park Infants is the second most popular school in Kent, turning away 50 first choices from the 135 that applied for its 90 places (Thurnham 29 and St John's 14).

Only 12 places at the three schools went to second or third choices. So where will all those children go? Looking at what I call urban Maidstone, 104 children who were given none of their preferences at popular schools were allocated to other schools in the town. This left precisely NO vacancies out of the 1133 places in the the town's 22 primary schools. So technically any child arriving in town now would be forced to a school outside Maidstone. As distinct from the other areas where there have been problems, KCC has made no provision whatever to meet the extra demand, presumably on the basis that as every child has a school place somewhere, all should be satisfied. (NOTE: A parents petition to KCC eventually saw St John's admission expanding to 60 children (also in year one for 2013 entry. Governros have now approved this. Several articles on issues, most recent being here). 

Other schools turning away more than 20 children where they were placed first are St Michael's CofE Infants; East Borough Primary; and Allington Primary; although a total of 13 schools were oversubscribed with first choices. Seven schools were forced to accept children who hadn't applied for them, with nearly half the total being sent to St Paul's Infants, which is now half full with allocations.

The one good sign on the horizon (although I originally thought it a very mixed blessing until I saw these numbers) is the new Free School being set up in the New  Line Learning Academy premises, Tiger Primary School. This operates independently of the Kent Admission scheme, and claims to have 76 children enrolled for the Reception class. These will also have been offered places at one of the county schools, and so some places will be freed up, probably from Loose Infants, Bell Wood, Molehill Copse and Oak Trees Community School. Another development is that Bell Wood, Oak Trees and St James the Great Infants School (in East Malling), have all been taken over by Academies Enterprise Trust, as explained here.

Let us be precise. On the above figures, Maidstone has the worst problem with primary school provision in the county, although those responsible for planning must have knows from the data they collect for planning, that 2012 was going to be difficult. In several of the other areas with problems, extra provision has been made available. There is none in Maidstone.

Couple all this with the fact that Maidstone has the worst set of OFSTED reports of any part of Kent, and parents may well feel that the county town is getting the short end of the stick.