Falmouth School's Ofsted rating has been downgraded from good to inadequate in a damning report published today.

The report states that leaders rely too heavily on academic performance and not enough on fostering relationships with parents, pupils and staff.

Inspectors found that the school's leaders have failed in several areas including 'off-rolling' students – removing them from the school – against the wishes of families, the advice of Cornwall Council and the professional judgement of other agencies.

They also found that the school's provisions for pupils with special education needs or disabilities (SEND) is lacking, as is the system of governance which fails to hold leaders to account.

An effective system for dealing with complaints of bullying is non-existent, according to the report.

Despite the inadequate leadership, the school's quality of teaching, pupil outcomes and 16 to 19 year old study programmes were all rated good, with "confident and articulate" pupils who were found to "behave well in lessons and around the site".

Falmouth councillor for Penwerris ward Anna Gillett, who is also a parent at the school, said: "Nobody want to hear the news that their local community school is inadequate, however, the findings of the report reflect accurately the complaints, problems and difficulties that I have heard from parents so it's a relief to know that Ofsted has listened to parents, and not only parents but students at the school."

Councillor Gillett addressed the fact that relationships between the school's leaders and parents had broken down, saying: "It's been impossible to have conversations about people's experiences."

But she sees the report as the first step towards a better future for both the school and the wider community.

She said: "The first step to taking a restorative approach is to hear both sides and allow both sides to move forward. The school could never move forward until they had been exposed. We're in a better position to move to a positive future."

A statement from Falmouth School's press officer expressed disappointment with the report and highlighted the above average progress of pupils and good exam results.

It said: "Falmouth School has been told by Ofsted that areas of its leadership and management need to be improved even though inspectors praised its teaching, pupil behaviour and pupils’ exam results.

"Overall, the school was given an ‘inadequate’ grade although pupil progress has been significantly above average for the past three years.

"The report acknowledges the quality of its teaching, pupil exam results, behaviour and the strength of its sixth-form provision which were all judged to be ‘good’. Safeguarding was also seen to be ‘effective’.

"Sue Godzicz, Interim Chair of Governors, said: 'Naturally, we are disappointed in the judgment from Ofsted, whose concerns principally centred on a small number of children who left the school some time ago. We accept that lessons have to be learnt and that work needs to be done.

“'Nevertheless, we are pleased that inspectors did recognise the excellent teaching at the school, which resulted in every group, including disadvantaged children, performing well above the national average and Falmouth School being the highest performing school in the local authority on the government’s attainment measure.

“'Our number one priority is to continue to deliver the best possible education for our students. I have every confidence that when Ofsted returns, its concerns will have been addressed and the school can continue on the journey of improvement that has enabled its students to achieve increasingly impressive exam results.

“'Meanwhile, I’m delighted to say that the children who are completing exams this year have once again worked really hard, supported by hardworking Falmouth School staff. We look forward to their exam results in August.'”

In the last few years, the Packet has published several reports highlighting the widespread dissatisfaction that parents have had with the school.

An Ofsted official confirmed that the latest report was the result of a routine check carried out every 30 months and not an emergency inspection.