A third school in the same academy trust has been rated 'inadequate' by Ofsted, despite inspectors calling it "warm and friendly" with happy pupils.

Crowan School, at Praze-an-Beeble, said it has "drawn up a rapid action plan" for swift improvement, adding that the "significant challenges" of the last two years, with lockdowns and home learning, had prevented progress that would have otherwise have been made.

The visit from inspectors took place over two days in November and is the first time the school has been inspected by Ofsted since joining the Southerly Point Co-operative Multi-Academy Trust in 2017.

It follows 'inadequate' ratings at two of the trust's other primary schools, Landewednack and Wendron, during the same run of inspections last year.


However, the trust said that seven of its 19 schools inspected since becoming academies had been rated good or outstanding.

Guy Chappell, the director of the Special Partnership, who is providing senior executive support to Southerly Point Co-operative Multi-Academy Trust, said: “While we accept the outcome and will not be challenging it, we believe that the significant challenges of the last two years have meant that the school has not progressed as it otherwise would have.

“However, we are now accelerating the improvements already started and have drawn up a rapid action plan that the school, in close collaboration with the Trust, is enacting.

"This includes additional school improvement support, a new experienced interim headteacher, and specific support for special needs pupils, in reading and in the early years curriculum.

“Ofsted’s report highlights that pupils like attending Crowan Primary School and the inspectors say it is a ‘warm and friendly school where pupils enjoy positive relationships with each other, as well as with the adults who work alongside them’.

"We believe that the action we are taking will mean that we can build on these strengths and swiftly put the school on the right trajectory.

"Overall, seven of the Trust’s schools inspected as academies are rated good or outstanding."

In addition to the overall rating of 'inadequate', the quality of education, leadership and management, and early years provision was also given this rating, while behaviour and attitudes and personal development were rated as 'requires improvement'.

However, inspectors found that pupils liked attending Crowan Primary School, saying: "This is a warm and friendly school where pupils enjoy positive relationships with each other, as well as with the adults who work alongside them. Pupils say that bullying is rare. If it happens, staff are usually quick to deal with it in a sensitive and appropriate manner.

"The atmosphere is mostly calm and orderly, so pupils can go about their day in a safe and purposeful manner. However, there are times when teachers do not expect enough of pupils. As a result, pupils produce work which is not good enough in some subjects."

Staff were also described as "tenacious" in their safeguarding duties.

What does Ofsted say the school needs to do to improve?

  • Leaders have been told to design an "effective" curriculum in place of on that is currently "weak or poorly implemented in too many subjects."
  • They must also implement a high-quality phonics programme in place of the "poorly designed and implemented" existing one, to enable all pupils to read well from reception onwards.
  • The Early Years curriculum needs to be more "coherent" and "well-sequenced."
  • Leaders, including governors, are said to be "too complacent" with an overly positive view of the school. Their evaluations were described as "wide of the mark" and as such have "failed to identify key weaknesses." They must instead accurately check the work of the school and hold others to account.
  • Senior and middle leaders, including subject leaders, are said to "lack the necessary knowledge to implement an effective curriculum" so fail to provide "an acceptable quality of education", a senior leaders and governors must ensure that staff have the expertise to lead their areas of responsibility effectively.
  • Children with SEND (special educational needs and disability) must have personalised plans to help pupils to overcome identified barriers to their learning.
  • Leaders and teachers are said to not have consistently high expectations of pupils’ attitudes to learning and so "there are times when pupils do not work well or try hard enough." Leaders must take steps to help pupils maintain good attitudes to learning in all subjects and situations.