An Exmouth primary school has been rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted after previously being rated ‘good’ by the inspectors over the last 11 years.

Marpool Primary School says it has been ‘partially successful’ in challenging a decision to downgrade its rating after a visit in June, but a full version of the report was published on November 6.

Ofsted upheld one aspect of the school’s complaint where it acknowledged that “leaders were not given sufficient opportunity to respond to Ofsted’s concerns and provide evidence to counter the findings”, but it did not uphold any other parts of the school’s challenge.

In a letter to parents, Rachel Pattison, the executive head of the Exe Estuary Federation which includes Marpool, and head of school Mrs Threlfall, said they “do not agree with the content of the report” and were concerned about the “procedural aspect of the inspection."

In his report the lead inspector, Gavin Summerfield, said: "Changes in leadership, low expectations and a weak curriculum have led to a decline in the quality of education that pupils receive. Leaders know that the curriculum needs to improve but the pace of change has been slow.

"Leaders want pupils to succeed academically. Staff are committed to improving the school. Most of the parents who shared their views are positive about the school. Many value the nurture and support that their children receive."

In a letter to parents, Mrs Pattison and Head of School Mrs Threlfall said: "This was our fourth inspection together as a team and, on each occasion, we have felt that, whilst the outcomes at times were challenging, the process was fair and transparent.

"Sadly, we felt that this was not the case in June and raised this with Ofsted. We challenged several aspects of the report’s findings which included significant concern around the procedural aspect of the inspection which we felt had an impact on the outcome.

"We have been advised that a copy of the final report will be published from November 6. This saddens us enormously as we don’t agree with the content.

"While we recognise that no school is perfect and there is always room for improvement, we feel enormous disappointment that the hard work and effort that all staff on every level put into providing for our community has gone unrecognised."