5th February 2019

Penwith Alternative Provision Academy which provides education for pupils who have been excluded from school has been given top marks by Ofsted for continuing to provide an “outstanding” quality of education for all its pupils. Inspectors highlight the inspirational leadership and the quality of teaching and say the school goes “above and beyond” in supporting its pupils to achieve.

Penwith APA, which is part of the Wave Multi Academy Trust, was inspected by Ofsted Inspectors at the end of January 2019. The report published this week confirms that the same outstanding quality of education has been maintained in the school since the last inspection in 2015. Welcoming the report, Chief Executive of the WAVE MAT Rob Gasson said “Everyone at Wave MAT is delighted that Penwith APA has been found to be Outstanding again in their recent inspection. This reflects the hard work of all the staff and pupils and wider stakeholders. My sincere congratulations go to Principal Clare Barden and her team. “Wave continues to lead the way in high quality alternative provision across the South West which is in part validated by this outcome.”

Inspectors praise the strong partnership working, both with other schools in the MAT and with leaders from local mainstream schools, and with other agencies, and the support provided for staff and students. “Staff feel valued, supported and trusted to do all they can to help pupils do well. They share the same goals and aspirations for pupils.
“Pupils develop a belief in themselves, an inner confidence and an expectation that they can be successful. The high number of pupils who return to local schools successfully shows how effective the school’s work is. “

The report also highlights the school’s success in helping pupils to manage their own emotions and to develop ways of coping when things go wrong, with one pupil telling Inspectors “This is the first place that I have been able to talk to teachers.” Parents are also involved in working closely with the school, with one stating “ the school involves us and I couldn’t speak more highly of support for my child.”

Praise is also given for the way in which the curriculum is shaped to meet the needs of pupils and for the focus on preparing pupils for their lives beyond school, with opportunities to learn in a variety of settings beyond school. Last year nearly all pupils who left Year 11 remained in successful education or training placements.
“There are interesting experiences built into pupils’ learning, including opportunities for music, horse riding and surfing. As a result, pupils can find new areas to fit in. They start to see successes and this motivates them to achieve even more. They make good progress and are well equipped for their return to mainstream.”

Wave MAT is the largest Alternative Provision MAT in the South West, with six AP Academies based in Cornwall, three AP Academies based in Devon and the Community and Hospital Education Service (CHES) based across three centres in Devon and Cornwall. The academies based in Cornwall are Caradon (Liskeard); Carrick (Truro); Nine Maidens (Redruth); North Cornwall (Bodmin); Penwith (Penzance); Restormel (St. Austell). The Academies based in Devon are River Dart (Dartington); Stansfield (Exeter) and The Shoreline (Barnstaple). The Community and Hospital Education Service (CHES) is based at Camborne (Cornwall), Tiverton and Paignton (Devon).

Wave is the most successful AP MAT in the country by Ofsted outcome, with two of its academies judged as “Outstanding” and five judged as “Good”.

Last month Wave was commissioned by Cornwall Council to provide education services for children and young people while they are receiving specialist treatment at Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s new child and adolescent mental health unit “Sowenna” which is currently being built on the Bodmin Hospital Site.


Ofsted Inspection 2019 Penwith