School etc

Grace Academy Coventry

Grace Academy Coventry
Wigston Road
West Midlands

phone: 024 76589000

principal: Mr Nicholas Marshall

school holidays: via Coventry council

856 pupils aged 11—19y mixed gender
1350 pupils capacity: 63% full

425 boys 50%


435 girls 51%


Last updated: July 28, 2014

Secondary — Academy Sponsor Led

Education phase
Establishment type
Academy Sponsor Led
Establishment #
Open date
Sept. 2, 2008
Reason open
New Provision
OSGB coordinates
Easting: 437795, Northing: 282369
GPS coordinates
Latitude: 52.438, Longitude: -1.4455
Accepting pupils
11—18 years old
Census date
Jan. 16, 2014
Ofsted last inspection
Jan. 29, 2014
Ofsted special measures
In special measures
Region › Const. › Ward
West Midlands › Coventry North East › Henley
Urban > 10k - less sparse
Admissions policy
Sixth form
Has a sixth form
Free school meals %
Trust school
Is supported by a Trust
Learning provider ref #

rooms to rent in Coventry

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  10. 0.6 miles St Patrick's Catholic Primary School CV21EQ (215 pupils)
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  16. 0.9 miles Henley Green Primary CV21HQ (311 pupils)
  17. 1.1 mile Henley College Coventry CV21ED
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  22. 1.3 mile Hawkesbury Fields School CV21PL
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  24. 1.4 mile Foleshill Church of England Primary School CV67ED

List of schools in Coventry

5 March 2015
Colin Boxall
Grace Academy Coventry
Wigston Road
Dear Mr Boxall

Special measures monitoring inspection of Grace Academy Coventry

Following my visit with Julia Morris, Additional Inspector, and Susan Vasey,
Additional Inspector, to your academy on 3–4 March 2015, I write on behalf of Her

Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills to confirm the

inspection findings. Thank you for the help you gave during the inspection and for
the time you made available to discuss the actions which have been taken since the
academy’s previous monitoring inspection.
The inspection was the third monitoring inspection since the academy became
subject to special measures following the inspection which took place in January
2014. The full list of the areas for improvement which were identified during that
inspection is set out in the annex to this letter. The monitoring inspection report is
Having considered all the evidence, I am of the opinion that at this time:
The academy is making reasonable progress towards the removal of special
The academy may appoint two newly qualified teachers before the next monitoring
inspection: one to the English department and one to the mathematics department.
This letter and monitoring inspection report will be published on the Ofsted website.
I am copying this letter and the monitoring inspection report to the Secretary of
State, The Education Funding Agency, the Academies Advisers Unit, the Chair of the
Academy Improvement Board and the Director of Children’s Services for Coventry.
Yours sincerely
Peter Humphries

Serco Inspections
Colmore Plaza
20 Colmore Circus Queensway
B4 6AT
T 0300 123 1231
Text Phone: 0161 6188524
reveal email: enqu…
Direct T 0121 679 9161
Direct email: reveal email: ann.…

Her Majesty’s Inspector


The areas for improvement identified during the inspection which took
place in January 2014

  • Improve the quality of teaching throughout the academy so that it is good or
    better by:
    - ensuring that all teaching motivates and inspires students
    - providing training for temporary teachers to improve their subject knowledge
    and skills, and ensure that they are well-prepared for their lessons
    - raising expectations of how students behave and what they can achieve
    - ensuring teachers give students opportunities to practise their reading, writing
    and mathematical skills in interesting contexts in a range of subjects
    - making sure that students’ work is marked in a way that gives them clear
    guidance about how it can be improved.
  • Improve behaviour and reduce the number of students who are temporarily
    excluded from school by ensuring that all staff understand and consistently apply
    the academy’s expectations for good behaviour.
  • Improve leadership and management by ensuring that:
    - the systems for collecting, analysing and acting on data about students’
    progress are consistently applied across the academy
    - spending of additional government funding (pupil premium) is used effectively
    to raise the attainment of those pupils it is intended to support
    - staffing is stabilised so that students have greater continuity in their learning
    - all leaders are rigorously held to account for the performance of all groups of
    students so that they are able to drive forward improvements in teaching,
    learning and behaviour
    - courses offered to sixth-form students meet their academic needs
    - governors regularly and rigorously hold academy leaders to account for all
    aspects of performance and check that actions taken are leading to
    An external review of governance, to include a specific focus on the academy’s use
    of the pupil premium, should be undertaken in order to assess how these aspects of
    leadership and governance may be improved.
    Report on the third monitoring inspection on 3–4 March 2015
    During this inspection, inspectors observed students’ learning in 27 lessons. A range
    of subjects was seen. Meetings were held with the Principal, academy leaders, a
    member of the Academy Improvement Board (AIB) and a representative of the
    sponsor, The Grace Foundation. Discussions were held with students and members
    of staff. The views of parents were noted from the 11 responses to Parent View
    (Ofsted’s online questionnaire) and the 107 responses to the academy’s own
    questionnaire to parents. Inspectors scrutinised a range of documentation, including
    the academy’s analysis of students’ current attainment and progress, records of
    monitoring undertaken by academy leaders of the quality of teaching, and the
    minutes of meetings of the Academy Improvement Board. Additional documentation
    was scrutinised, including information about students’ behaviour, attendance and
    punctuality, and the vetting checks on staff new to the academy.
    Since the previous monitoring inspection in November 2014, two teachers have
    joined the science department. No teachers have left the academy. The local
    governing body has been replaced by an Academy Improvement Board (AIB). The
    AIB was established on 19 January 2015. The Department for Education carried out
    a monitoring visit on 28 January 2015. The academy is in the early stages of
    consulting with staff and unions over staff redundancies.
    Achievement of students at the academy
    Information provided by the academy, work in students’ books and observations of
    students’ learning show that, since the last monitoring inspection visit, the quality of
    teaching and students’ behaviour are much improved. Staffing is now stable and no
    teachers have left the academy since the inspection in November 2014. As a
    consequence, students’ progress has speeded up in most subjects across the
    In Year 11, an increasing number of students, including those that are
    disadvantaged, more able or are disabled or have special educational needs, are
    making the progress expected of them in English and mathematics. The gap in
    attainment between disadvantaged students and other students is closing.
    Information provided by the academy shows that, in English, the gap has reduced
    from half a grade to a third of a grade. In mathematics, the gap has been reduced
    from a grade to half a grade. However, while improving, the majority of students’
    ability to problem-solve and reason mathematically remains weak across the
    Academy leaders have introduced a commercial reading scheme and focused on the
    development of students’ writing skills across all subjects. As a result, students’
    literacy skills have improved. For example, in Year 9, 54% of students have
    improved their reading age by at least six months in two months. The work in
    students’ books shows that, since the last inspection, students’ writing skills,
    including handwriting, have improved.
    In Key Stage 3 and Year 10, an increasing number of students are making the
    progress expected of them in the majority of subjects, including English,
    mathematics and science.
    In the sixth form, students are following courses that are suited to their academic
    needs and ability. As a consequence, more students than last year are continuing
    with their studies. Information provided by the academy shows that students’
    progress is speeding up in academic and vocational subjects, especially in
    The quality of teaching
    Teachers and teaching assistants have had training and support to improve their
    subject knowledge and teaching skills, including how to provide effective feedback to
    students. As a result, the quality of teaching is improving, particularly in the sixth
    form. A large majority of the students told inspectors that their lessons are now
    more interesting and that the feedback they receive is useful in helping them to
    improve their work. The work in students’ books shows that teachers have higher
    expectations of what students know, understand and can do.
    Where teaching is most effective, teachers plan appropriate learning opportunities
    and frequently check that students understand the work. As a result, they adapt
    their lesson to meet the changing needs of individuals in order to ensure students
    make progress. However, a minority of teachers do not use the information they
    have about students’ knowledge and understanding to plan learning activities that
    cater for students’ different capabilities. In addition, checks are not made on
    students’ understanding and progress. The majority of students in these classes find
    the work either too hard or too easy. As a result, students do not make the progress
    they should.
    The majority of teachers frequently mark students’ books and provide feedback that
    gives students clear guidance about how their work can be improved. However, a
    minority of teachers do not frequently mark students’ books, identify students’
    mistakes and misconceptions or check that follow-up work has been completed. As a
    result, students’ progress is inhibited.
    Students have opportunities to read throughout the academy day; for example, in
    tutor time and in the majority of lessons. The recently introduced commercial
    reading scheme has been well received by students, and most are reading more
    often than was the case at the last inspection. Students have opportunities to write
    for extended periods of time in most subjects. As a result, information provided by
    the academy shows that students’ literacy skills are improving.
    Since the last inspection, the teaching of mathematics has improved and more
    students are making the progress expected of them. However, many students do not
    have secure basic arithmetical skills. As a result, they are unable to confidently solve
    problems. The work in the majority of students’ books shows that they have few
    opportunities to reason mathematically, to problem-solve or to deepen their
    understanding. Students do not have a secure understanding of how and why
    mathematical and arithmetical methods work. Teachers of mathematics do not have
    a secure understanding of the new mastery curriculum and the implications for
    lesson design, teaching, use of resources and support for students.
    Teaching assistants support students’ learning effectively. They do this by
    encouraging students to think for themselves and to be resilient when encountering
    problems. Teaching assistants also support teachers in ensuring that students focus
    on their work and complete tasks to an acceptable standard.
    Behaviour and safety of students
    Since the inspection in November 2014, students’ behaviour has improved
    significantly. The Principal has introduced an ‘open door’ policy, requiring all teachers
    to teach with the classroom door open. Most staff and students told inspectors that
    this policy has had a positive impact on students’ behaviour. However, students’
    behaviour deteriorates when teaching fails to engage the interest of students or
    meet their particular learning needs.
    The majority of teachers have high expectations of students’ behaviour. However, a
    minority of teachers do not consistently apply the academy’s behaviour policy and do
    not effectively challenge the minority of students who persistently disrupt the
    learning of others.
    Academy leaders are visible around the academy site and regularly visit lessons to
    ensure that students are meeting the academy’s behaviour expectations. Students’
    behaviour at break and lunchtime is ‘excitable’ and a small minority of students can
    be overly boisterous. A minority of students need to be reminded by staff to move to
    their next lesson.
    Information provided by the academy shows that there are fewer fixed-term
    exclusions and incidents of poor behaviour compared to the same time last year.
    Students’ attendance is improving and there are fewer students who are persistently
    absent, missing 15% or more of lessons. However, absence and persistent absence
    levels remain above the national average.
    The quality of leadership in and management of the academy
    The Principal and senior leaders have taken effective action to tackle the issues
    identified at the inspection in January 2014 and the monitoring inspection in
    November 2014. As a result, the quality of learning and teaching, and students’
    behaviour and attainment, have improved. Teachers’ and students’
    underperformance is challenged. Intervention and support are provided for students
    not making the progress expected of them and for teachers who are unable to
    secure the best outcomes for students. The large majority of parents who completed
    the academy’s questionnaire said that the academy is well led and managed. An
    increased proportion of parents are happy with the teaching, care, support and
    encouragement their children receive. The Principal recognises that some policies –
    for example, the assessment and behaviour policies – are applied inconsistently by a
    minority of staff. He and other academy leaders are taking effective action to
    challenge teachers who do not meet the academy’s expectations.
    Students’ progress, attendance and attitudes to learning are frequently monitored.
    As a result, there is ample information about students’ learning, absence and
    behaviour. However, academy leaders do not routinely and rigorously analyse the
    information. As a consequence, they miss opportunities to identify and resolve issues
    such as students’ low attendance in Year 9 and Year 11.
    The recently established AIB includes a National Leader of Governance (NLG), and a
    National Leader of Education (NLE). Members of the AIB have a good range of
    knowledge and skills, and have quickly used these to provide challenge and
    guidance to the Principal and other leaders. They have a good understanding of the
    academy’s strengths and areas for improvement. However, the AIB has not had
    sufficient time to demonstrate a significant and sustained impact on improving
    leadership, management and students’ achievement.
    External support
    The sponsor, through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), provides suitable support
    for teachers and academy leaders. The CEO has brokered support from Sidney
    Stringer Academy and the Castle Phoenix Teaching School Alliance to work with
    teachers and leaders, particularly in English, mathematics and science, and to
    provide training for teachers through the Outstanding Teacher Programme (OTP).
    The Principal has recently collaborated with the local authority through a school
    improvement partner.

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