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The Five Islands Academy, formerly Five Islands School, is the first[citation needed] federated school in the United Kingdom, providing primary and secondary education for children from 3–16 at five sites across the Isles of Scilly.

The Five Islands Academy
The Five Islands Academy is located in Cornwall
The Five Islands Academy
The Five Islands Academy
The Five Islands Academy is located in England
The Five Islands Academy
The Five Islands Academy
The Five Islands Academy is located in the United Kingdom
The Five Islands Academy
The Five Islands Academy
Carn Gwaval, Church Road,

, ,
TR21 0NA

Coordinates49°54′45″N 6°18′18″W / 49.9125°N 6.305°W / 49.9125; -6.305Coordinates: 49°54′45″N 6°18′18″W / 49.9125°N 6.305°W / 49.9125; -6.305
TypeFederated voluntary controlled comprehensive
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Local authorityCouncil of the Isles of Scilly
Department for Education URN133554 Tables
Head teacherJo Yeates
Age4 to 16


The former Carn Thomas Secondary School site, St Mary's

The secondary school and four primary schools were formerly five separate schools. While the smaller schools were praised by inspectors, the two larger schools on St Mary's were judged as inadequate. In response, the government forced a fresh start as a federated school, which opened in April 2002 and subsequently the other off islands bases were also federated.

An inspection in June and July 2003 again found the standard of education at the St Mary's sites to be inadequate, and the school was placed in special measures until 2005.

Under a succession of heads, the school has become a successful and cohesive federation, judged "outstanding" by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) in 2007.[1][2] The school's GCSE results are now the highest in South West England.[3]

In 2008, the school was given funding of £13 million to build a new 3–16 school complex on a site adjacent to the existing Carn Gwaval primary school.[4] This development took place 2010–11 and opened in time for the 2011–12 school year, which resulted in the secondary school moving permanently away from the Carn Thomas site, as well as the primary pupils at Carn Gwaval also moving into the new neighbouring school complex. The former primary school building was modernised and extended, becoming the island's main indoor sports and fitness centre.


Tresco and Bryher School, Tresco
St Agnes School

Secondary education (up to GCSE) is provided only on the most populous island of St Mary's. There, it was based at the Carn Thomas site, on the eastern edge of Hugh Town, on the road to Porth Mellon, but in 2011 relocated to a new school complex at Carn Gwaval, adjacent to an existing primary base there, between Hugh Town and Old Town. Secondary pupils from the other islands are given free board at Mundesley Hostel during the school week, returning home at the weekends and holidays.[5]

The four primary education bases are at Carn Gwaval, near Old Town — for St Mary's pupils; on Tresco, near Old Grimsby — for pupils from that island and the neighbouring island of Bryher; on St Martin's; and on St Agnes.[6] The Carn Gwaval base has been combined since 2011 with the sole secondary education base.

As of 2003 the main campus had 117 secondary and 111 primary pupils, and the Tresco, St Agnes, and St Martin's bases had 24, 7, and 6 students, respectively.[7] These enrollment figures are lower than the respective England-wide averages.[8]

Campuses in the Isles of Scilly

Boarding facilitiesEdit

The boarding facility at St. Mary's is known as the Mundesley Boarding House, accommodating year 7 onwards.[9] As of 2003 the average number of boarders was 25-30.[7] The boarding building includes the original house and the extension for boarders. The original house has the dining room, kitchen, and living room on the ground floor and the house parents' flat on the first floor, while the extension has the boys' hostel and the clinic on the ground floor and the girls' hostel on the first floor.[9]


  1. ^ The Five Islands School, Office for Standards in Education.
  2. ^ "Case study: Five Islands school, Scilly". Cambridge Education. Retrieved 14 October 2010.
  3. ^ William Stewart (29 August 2008). "The ferryboat federation". TES connect. Retrieved 25 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Scillies school to get £13m makeover". Western Morning News. 30 August 2008. Retrieved 15 February 2016.
  5. ^ "The Five Islands School". Council of the Isles of Scilly. Retrieved 25 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Contact Us". Five Islands Academy. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Education." Council of the Isles of Scilly. 24 July 2003. Retrieved on 8 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Education." Council of the Isles of Scilly. 14 October 2002. Retrieved on 8 December 2018. "Numbers of pupils in each centre are small in comparison to National Averages."
  9. ^ a b "Introduction to Mundesley" (PDF). Five Islands School. Retrieved 7 December 2018.

External linksEdit