The Academy of St Nicholas

Name The Academy of St Nicholas
Ofsted Inspection Rating Requires improvement
Inspection Date 08 May 2019
Address 51 Horrocks Avenue, Garston, Liverpool, Merseyside, L19 5NY
Phone Number 01512302570
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Roman Catholic/Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 729 (53% boys 47% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 16.6
Academy Sponsor The Liverpool Joint Catholic And Church Of England Academies Trust
Local Authority Liverpool
Percentage Free School Meals 44.7%
Percentage English is Not First Language 14%
Persisitent Absence 26.8%
Pupils with SEN Support 22.6%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No

Information about this school

This is a smaller-than-average school with a sixth form. The proportion of disadvantaged pupils is high. The proportion of pupils with SEND is above the national average. The majority of pupils are of White British heritage. The proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is lower than the national average. Sixteen pupils are educated off-site at: Everton Free School, Alternative Centre of Education, Harmonize, Assess Skype Project, Employability Solutions, Prudentia and Active TT. The school has a special educational needs resource base for pupils who have ASD. Sixteen pupils attend this base. The academy is sponsored by the Archdiocese and Diocese of Liverpool, which, in 2016, formed a multi-academy trust, known as All Saints Academy Trust, consisting of this and one other school. There is a board of trust directors and a local governing body. There have been very considerable changes in staffing since the previous inspection and a new headteacher was appointed in July 2017. The school has been supported by the local authority (School Improvement Liverpool), specialist leaders of education and external consultants.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a school that requires improvement From its opening in 2010 until the involvement of the All Saints Academy Trust, this school suffered from frequent changes in headship and lack of effective direction from trustees and governors. Short-term and unsustainable attempts to boost results for successive Year 11 groups had a negative impact on the curriculum and the quality of teaching. Pupils have underperformed at GCSE since the opening of the school. Despite substantial improvements, the legacy of previous weaknesses in teaching and subject leadership is still evident in some areas. The curriculum is under significant review. It lacks breadth and balance. The proportion of pupils entered for the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is very low in relation to the government’s targets. Pupils’ attendance, although improving, is still below that seen nationally. The number of fixed-term exclusions is above the national average. The school has the following strengths At its formation in January 2016, the All Saints Academy Trust began to make strategic decisions which have resulted in long-needed strength and stability of leadership. Ably supported by the new chief executive officer of the trust, the headteacher has made substantial and sustainable improvements. Pupils, staff and parents speak highly of the impact of changes made since the arrival of the current headteacher. Current pupils make good progress, although Year 11 have significant gaps in knowledge. Inadequate teaching has been eradicated almost entirely and that which is not fully effective is improving. The behaviour of pupils has been transformed. The school is now an orderly and purposeful community. Students in the sixth form benefit from strong teaching and leadership. After the merging of two sixth forms into one, in 2018 A-level results dipped. However, the attainment of current students is back to previous good levels.