Snowfields Academy rated Outstanding in every category by Ofsted

Snowfields Academy rated outstanding in every category by Ofsted


Leigh Academies Trust is delighted to announce that Snowfields Academy has achieved an Outstanding rating in every category following the recent Ofsted inspection on 27 and 28 June this year.

Snowfields Academy comprises two specialist sites in Kent (Bearsted and Cranbrook), both designed to accommodate students between the ages of 11 and 18 whose primary need is ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  All students at Snowfields Academy have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). 

The first site, Snowfields Academy Bearsted, opened in September 2020 as a brand new purpose-built special secondary school, accommodating 140 students. The second site, Snowfields Academy Cranbrook, opened in September 2022. Both sites work together to deliver the very best educational experience for our students, while still retaining their own unique identities.

The report highlights that “pupils at Snowfields Academy are rightly proud of their school. They talk openly about feeling ‘accepted’ and ‘comfortable’” and commends the academy for establishing a culture where ‘nurture meets aspiration’ enabling students to achieve exceptionally well academically and personally further stating “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 culture of the academy was praised with inspectors noting “The warm, friendly, supportive culture of the school is tangible”.

With regard to leadership, Ofsted said, “leaders and staff have the highest ambitions for what pupils can achieve,” and that “leaders have ensured that the focus on developing pupils’ social communication is key.”

The academy’s inclusive ethos was also praised by inspectors, with the report stating that “Pupils are undoubtedly ready for their next stage of life when they leave Snowfields.” 

Furthermore, the report commends the academy’s approach to teaching and learning, stating that “Teachers are highly skilled in delivering their subjects. All staff are experts in teaching and supporting pupils with autism. Teachers deliver activities in ways that engage pupils fully and gets the best from them.”

The Principal, Dee Pickerill, expressed her gratitude to the academy community, “I would like to express my thanks to our dedicated and talented staff, our families for working so collaboratively and most of all our wonderful students who inspire us all each and every day. With the right nurture and aspiration, and working together with families and students, we can achieve every students’ right to take their place in society, achieve and excel, and live well with their autism.” 

Leigh Academies Trust CEO, Simon Beamish, expressed his pride in the academy’s achievements, stating that “This is a magnificent achievement at Snowfields’ first inspection. Having launched in the Pandemic and then opening a second campus two years later, nothing more could reasonably have been expected of staff and pupils. We were delighted with the positive feedback provided by all stakeholders to inspectors throughout the inspection process showing that the feeling of pride in what has been achieved in such a short time frame is widely shared”.

Leigh Academies Trust congratulates Snowfields Academy on this fantastic  achievement and thanks everyone involved in the academy community for helping to achieve this remarkable success.

The full Ofsted report can be found below.

Read Snowfields Academy's Full Ofsted Report Kent Online Article