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This is a good school. The Principal's clear vision of what he wants for the academy and his ambition for it are helping to create an environment in which all students can achieve success.
The curriculum is good and its focus on developing students' spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding is excellent. The academy prepares students very well for life in modern democratic Britain, and its focus on developing community cohesion is exemplary. Governors and academy sponsors provide very good support for academy leaders; whilst, at the same time, having high expectations of what leaders should achieve.
The sixth form is good. Good teaching and the fact ...that students are keen to learn contribute well to the good progress students make. Support for disabled students and students who have special educational needs is very strong and enables them to achieve well.
Teaching assistants are used very well to help teachers support students who require additional assistance, including those for whom English is an additional language. The academy's actions to ensure students are safe are outstanding. Students, including all groups of students, make good progress and, as a result, the standards they reach are rising.
It is not yet an outstanding school because : Approaches to improve the literacy skills of older students are not as strong as those for younger students. Rates of progress made by lower attaining students are not as rapid as those made by other students. The quality of teaching in a few areas is not as good as that in most areas.
The sixth form curriculum does not include sufficient work experience for all students. The quality of data used by leaders to judge the strengths and weaknesses of the academy does not highlight emerging issues as quickly or as well as it might. Not all leaders in charge of subjects use the data they are provided with well enough to make decisions on how to improve the teaching and learning in their departments.
Information about this school
The school converted to an academy in September 2012. When its predecessor school, Blue Coat Church of England Comprehensive School, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be satisfactory. Blue Coat Church of England Academy is much smaller than the average secondary school.
According to the latest academy data, almost half of its students speak English as an additional language, which is well above the national average, and fewer than 15% of students are White British. The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs is well above average. The proportion of students who have a statement or an education, health and care plan is below average.
Over half of all students are supported by pupil premium (extra funding provided by the government for students who are eligible for free school meals or are looked after by local authority), which is well above average. A large number of Years 7 and 8 students benefit from the nationally-funded catch-up programme, which is for students who do not achieve the expected Level 4 in reading or mathematics at the end of their primary schooling. None of the students in the academy attend alternative provision elsewhere.
The academy meets the government's floor standards which set the minimum expectations for students' attainment and progress at Key Stage 4. The academy is a stand-alone academy sponsored by the Church of England Central Education Trust (CECET). Its co-sponsor, Holte School, is an outstanding school in Birmingham.
In March 2013, the school was awarded the Anti-Bullying Silver Award. In June 2013, it was awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM), and in June 2014 gained IQM Centre of Excellence Status. As an IQM Centre of Excellence, the academy has supported other schools, including Birchills Church of England Community Academy and Streetly Academy in gaining the Inclusion Quality Mark.
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