Grace Academy Coventry


Name Grace Academy Coventry
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 17 December 2019
Address Wigston Road, Coventry, West Midlands, CV2 2RH
Phone Number 02476589000
Type Academy
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character Does not apply
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 612 (51% boys 49% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 13.6
Academy Sponsor Tove Learning Trust
Local Authority Coventry
Percentage Free School Meals 25.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 25.7%
Persisitent Absence 15.9%
Pupils with SEN Support 13.6%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

What is it like to attend this school?

Grace Academy is an improving school. Many staff and pupils told inspectors how much the school has improved. A new principal took up post this term. Morale among staff is high. Leaders want all pupils to do well. Plans are already in place to ensure the school continues to improve.

Leaders know that aspects of the curriculum need to get better. In the past, the school did not plan pupils’ learning well. This is now much better, but there remains room for improvement. Pupils still do not remember what they have learned as well as they could. Staff are now receiving better training. Leaders are confident that this will lead to further improvements.

Pupils are happy. They say that they are well looked after and feel safe. Incidents of bullying are low. Pupils feel confident that staff deal with any incidents that do occur. Pupils know who they can talk to about any worries they may have.

Most pupils now behave well in lessons and throughout the day. However, some pupils do not always behave well and sometimes disrupt learning for others.

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

The quality of education has improved since the last inspection. Leaders are making a difference. The new principal is providing determined leadership. Leaders recognise that pupils are making more progress in some subjects, but not in others.

Leaders provide a curriculum that is ambitious. Pupils study a broad range of subjects. This includes the option to study vocational subjects at key stage 4. Pupils’ learning is now organised well in almost all subjects. In the few subjects where this is still not the case, there has been some improvement.

Teaching is improving. Teachers are keen to improve their practice, and they value the training that leaders have given them. Some weaknesses remain, though. Teaching does not ensure that pupils remember what they have been taught as well as it could.

Pupils and staff agree that behaviour has improved. Inspection evidence confirms this. However, a small number of pupils continue to disrupt learning. Some parents continue to be sceptical and are vocal in their view of behaviour at the school. Inspectors found that most of their concerns are unjustified.

Pupils do not attend school as often as they should. The school has introduced many strategies to try to improve attendance. Some of these are working but, even so, attendance is still low.

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities are supported well in school.Leaders have made good progress in improving this aspect since the last inspection.Leaders give teachers helpful information about these pupils’ needs. Many teachers are using this information when planning lessons.

Leaders care about their pupils and ensure that pupils learn about healthy living and keeping safe. This includes learning about online safety, knife crime and gang culture. School leaders place a strong emphasis on the school’s spiritual and moral values. Pupils recognise the importance of ‘potential, excellence, respect, integrity and grace’. Pupils take part in different activities that support this. For example, pupils support many different charities. They are proactive in their support of the local foodbank and night shelter. Pupils reflect on their own contribution to this work and this informs future actions. Pupils say that they enjoy the broad range of activities offered by the school. There is a well-planned programme for careers education across all year groups. This helps pupils, including those in the sixth form, to be better prepared for their next steps.

Students in the sixth-form value the support given to them. They enjoy good relationships with their teachers. Students want to achieve well. In some subjects, teachers do not know what students know and understand. This means that teachers do not consistently help students increase their knowledge and understanding.

The principal and senior leaders provide effective leadership. They are well supported by trustees and members of the Academy Improvement Board (AIB). This is ensuring that leaders are not complacent. They know what still needs to improve. The Tove Learning Trust (TLT) is providing effective support in ensuring this happens.

Staff and pupils enjoy being at the school.

Safeguarding

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

Staff know pupils well and act quickly when concerns arise. Leaders work well with other agencies to keep vulnerable pupils safe from harm. Record-keeping is thorough. Leaders ensure that pupils learn how to stay safe. For example, pupils learn about online safety and knife crime.

Staff know that keeping pupils safe is everyone’s responsibility. Leaders give pupils strong support and pupils know who to go to if they need help or support.

What does the school need to do to improve?

(Information for the school and appropriate authority)

Teachers have begun to focus their efforts on helping pupils to remember more of what they have been taught. This is proving successful in some subjects, for example in English and in science. However, this remains an inconsistent picture across all subjects. Too often, pupils cannot recall important knowledge. This means they find it more difficult to learn new content. Leaders should ensure thatpupils routinely recall what they have been taught so that remembering important knowledge becomes a habit for them. . Staff and parents recognise that the school is improving. They also recognise that standards of behaviour are improving. However, there are incidents of low-level disruption from a small number of pupils. Leaders need to ensure that staff are more consistent in their application of the school’s behaviour management policy. Leaders also need to ensure that all pupils respect and follow the school’s expectations for their conduct. . Pupils do not attend school regularly enough. The school needs better systems for encouraging pupils to attend well.