George Eliot Academy

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About George Eliot Academy

Name George Eliot Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Principal Mrs Homeira Zakary
Address Raveloe Drive, Nuneaton, CV11 4QP
Phone Number 02476744000
Phase Academy
Type Academy sponsor led
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character None
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 803
Local Authority Warwickshire
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

The George Eliot School welcomes everybody, and seeks to do the best for them. It places kindness alongside ambition in the values it promotes.

Pupils refer to these values and, for example, hold doors open for each other. They feel safe. In part, this is because leaders have responded well to the impact of the pandemic.

But they have also made it easy for pupils to report worries or concerns of any kind. There is a culture of mutual respect, and bullying is a rare event.

The principal leads the school with a clear vision and great energy.

The staff wholeheartedly support her, and model the values that they wish the pupils to adopt.

Everyone... who inspectors talked to said that the school has improved considerably since the last inspection, and the evidence supports this. Leaders have appointed the right staff and trained them well.

They have established strong routines for behaviour and classroom organisation. At both key stages, pupils study a good range of subjects. Leaders have organised the curriculum effectively, and made appropriate changes to help pupils to catch up after lockdowns.

There is an effective programme of careers education, and teachers often explain to pupils how learning relates to later life.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

Pupils study a broad curriculum throughout key stage 3. At key stage 4, pupils are encouraged to continue with a range of subjects.

Leaders have now resolved the staffing issue which temporarily restricted modern foreign languages. Subject leaders have planned learning that builds on what pupils can already do. The curriculum is ambitious, and ensures that work is appropriately challenging.

Staff have used assessment effectively to identify any gaps in pupils' learning arising from the pandemic. As a result, pupils are learning well, gaining steadily in knowledge and understanding. Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) receive specialist teaching that is well matched to their needs.

Teachers are knowledgeable, enthusiastic and greatly value the training that they receive. They explain ideas to pupils well. Teachers use the correct terminology for each subject, and expect pupils to do the same.

They check on pupils' understanding in various ways, and use what they find out to shape the pace and direction of next steps in learning. The school promotes reading effectively. For example, pupils are keen to meet the '50 book challenge'.

During visits to lessons, inspectors observed no disruptive behaviour. Older pupils say that there is occasional poor behaviour in lower sets, but that teachers deal with it. In some classes, pupils' good conduct was more a response to the clear school rules and routines than an enjoyment of their learning.

The overall rate of pupils' attendance has returned to pre-pandemic levels and is improving slowly. The rate for older pupils and those who are disadvantaged remains a little lower.

Pupils learn about a full range of social topics.

The school teaches them to respect and value different groups. Leaders have adopted innovative and effective strategies to promote pupils' personal development. Pupils in younger forms sit to eat their lunch as a 'family' with their tutors.

They are encouraged to discuss relevant topics, and to give thanks for those who help them. Leaders have re-established a varied programme of extra-curricular activities. Pupils meet with senior staff and with directors of the trust, and believe that their views are heard and respected.

The principal's clear, determined leadership has won the respect of the staff. Leaders listen to people's views and adapt school practice accordingly. As a result, everyone works hard in the best interests of the pupils.

A small number of subject leaders are not able to explain their curriculum decisions with the same clarity as their peers. The multi-academy trust (MAT) has supported the school well. For example, coordinating the planning of the curriculum across their four schools has contributed significantly to easing staff workload.

The school's career guidance meets the requirements of the Baker Clause. The school allows colleges and training providers the opportunity to discuss with pupils vocational career paths. The guidance is valued by pupils.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Pupils feel safe in school. Leaders are alert to the risks that pupils face, including those which have grown during the pandemic.

They provide a wide-ranging programme that explains these risks well to staff and pupils. Staff respond to concerns about individuals with sensitivity and tenacity. Staff work well with other agencies involved in protecting children when the need arises.

Leaders make appropriate checks on those staff who join the school.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

• In a small number of departments, subject leaders are not able to explain fully how their curriculum ensures that pupils know more and remember more. Senior leaders should ensure that all subject leaders are in a strong position to evaluate and enhance the curriculum and its implementation as circumstances change.

• Improvements in pupils' conduct have relied on clear rules and routines both in the classroom and the playground. As leaders suggested, it is time to place more emphasis on pupils' responsibility to manage their own work and behaviour. This will help them to be more responsible when outside the direct supervision of the school.

• A few key stage 4 pupils are yet to embrace the values of the school. Some of these pupils do not attend school regularly. Staff should work more intensively with these pupils and their families to ensure that they better understand the benefits to themselves and others of consistently good behaviour and attendance.

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