School etc

Grace Academy Coventry

Grace Academy Coventry
Wigston Road
West Midlands

024 76589000

Principal: Mr Nicholas Marshall

School holidays for Grace Academy Coventry via Coventry council

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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 & flats to rent in Coventry

Schools nearby

  1. 0.1 miles Woodway Park School and Community College CV22RH
  2. 0.3 miles Potters Green Primary School CV22GF (447 pupils)
  3. 0.3 miles Cardinal Wiseman Catholic School and Language College CV22AJ (1286 pupils)
  4. 0.5 miles Eburne Primary School CV22AA
  5. 0.5 miles Sir Frank Whittle Primary School CV22LH (235 pupils)
  6. 0.5 miles Wood End Primary School CV21EQ
  7. 0.5 miles Wood End Junior School CV21EQ
  8. 0.5 miles Wood End Infant School CV21EQ
  9. 0.5 miles Moat House Primary School CV21EQ (383 pupils)
  10. 0.6 miles St Patrick's Catholic Primary School CV21EQ (215 pupils)
  11. 0.7 miles St Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School CV22EF (204 pupils)
  12. 0.7 miles Castle Wood Special School CV21FN (113 pupils)
  13. 0.9 miles Annie Osborn Primary School CV21HQ
  14. 0.9 miles Walsgrave Church of England Primary School CV22BA (457 pupils)
  15. 0.9 miles Deedmore School CV21HQ
  16. 0.9 miles Henley Green Primary CV21HQ (311 pupils)
  17. 1.1 mile Henley College Coventry CV21ED
  18. 1.1 mile Coventry Hospital School and Home Tuition Service CV22DX
  19. 1.1 mile Hospital Education Centre CV22DX (6 pupils)
  20. 1.3 mile Alderman's Green Community Primary School CV21PP (426 pupils)
  21. 1.3 mile Wyken Croft Primary School CV23AA (700 pupils)
  22. 1.3 mile Hawkesbury Fields School CV21PL
  23. 1.4 mile Pearl Hyde Community Primary School CV22NB (294 pupils)
  24. 1.4 mile Foleshill Church of England Primary School CV67ED

List of schools in Coventry

Grace Academy Coventry

Inspection report

Unique Reference Number 135335
Local Authority Coventry
Inspect ion number 361308
Inspect ion dates 1–2 December 2010
Report ing inspector Andrew Cook HMI

This inspection of the school was carried out under section 5 of the Education Act 2005.

Type of school Academy
School category Non-maintained
Age range of pupils 11–19
Gender of pupils Mixed
Gender of pupils in the sixth form Mixed
Nu mber of pupils on the school roll 815
Of which, number on roll in the sixth form 115
Appropriate authority The governing body
Chair Robert Edmiston
Headteacher Steve Allen
Date of previous school inspection Not previously inspected
School address Wigston Road
Telephone number 02476 589000
Fax number 02476 589001
Email address
Age group 11–19
Inspect ion dates 1–2 December 2010
Inspect ion number 361308


This inspection was carried out by two of Her Majesty's Inspectors and two additional
inspectors. Inspectors observed 38 lessons and 37 teachers were seen. Inspectors held
meetings with parents, groups of students, governors, leaders and staff. On the second
day of the inspection inspectors met with some of the Academy Student Ambassadors who
led a presentation on their work. Inspectors also observed the academy's work, and
scrutinised a range of documentation including improvement plans, minutes of meetings
and safeguarding records. Student, staff and 261 parental questionnaires were also
The inspection team reviewed many aspects of the school's work. It looked in detail at the

  • Why did English results in 2010 remain static and has the academy taken effective
    action to improve attainment since?
  • How effectively is the academy raising the quality of teaching from satisfactory to
    good and better through improvement strategies such as 'The Glass Classroom' and
    the work of the Learning and Teaching Team (LATTe)?
  • What is the impact of care and guidance on those pupils who are most vulnerable?
  • How well have newly appointed leaders and managers contributed to the ongoing
    work to improve provision and pupil outcomes?

Information about the school

Grace Academy Coventry is the second of three Grace Academies to be opened in the
West Midlands. The academy opened in September 2008 moving into new premises in
February 2010. The Academy has a Business and Enterprise Specialism and has a strong

Christian ethos.

The academy is smaller than average but numbers of students are rising rapidly. The
proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is much higher than the national
average. Most pupils are White British and the proportion of pupils from minority ethnic
groups is lower than the national average. The proportion of pupils identified as having
special educational needs and/or disabilities fell in 2010, but was still higher than the
national average.
The academy has achieved a number of recent awards including Specialist Schools and
Academies Trust Recognition for improvements in attainment, Go4it Award for its
approach to enterprise and business, Brit Writers nominees at the O2 Arena London, Anti
Bullying Award and won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the number of

on-line 'Life Wishes'.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

Inspection judgements

Overall effectiveness: how good is the school? 2
The school's capacity for sustained improvement 2

Main findings

This is a good academy. From the time Grace Academy first opened its doors there has
been a continual, and successful, focus on its core vision which is to develop well
educated, considerate and caring citizens with a strong sense of values who will succeed
and contribute to the society they live in. The success of Grace has come about because
strong and determined leadership has ensured that expectations have remained high. The
key achievements and strengths of the academy are:

  • the proportion of students gaining five or more A*to C GCSE grades has risen to
    92%, which is well above the national average
  • there is overwhelming evidence that the work of the academy is helping groups of
    students from vulnerable circumstances to make outstanding progress
  • the care guidance and support given to students is outstanding which combined with
    teaching that is improving has resulted in students making good, and for some,
    outstanding progress
  • the emphasis on business and enterprise has an impact across the whole of the
    curriculum through the promotion of what the academy calls 'Skills for Success', for
    example, decision making and team working
  • in 2010 every student that finished their time at Grace went on to further education,
    training or employment
  • the Academy Student Ambassadors are a credit to the academy and succesfully role
    model and promote the academy values
  • the systems in place to keep students safe are outstanding.

As outcomes and provision continue to improve, areas where work is still to be done
become increasingly more obvious. Leaders recognise the need to improve teaching
further, have a greater impact on the success of the sixth form and develop the work of
the middle leaders. Some of the middle leaders are relatively new to their post and have
been drawn into the way of working that has been so successful. There is a high level of
support and direction for some middle leaders as they are at an early stage of developing
their role.
The Principal and vice-principals are sharply focused in their evaluation of the academy's
work. Their judgements about the quality of education are robust and honest. They have
confidently led improvements and have seen the work of the academy flourish. Therefore,
the capacity to improve further is good.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

What does the school need to do to improve further?

  • Increase the proportion of good and outstanding teaching by:
    promoting and sharing the best practice within and across the three Grace
    developing teachers' questioning skills and the way in which teaching is matched
    to students' different abilities
    developing teaching styles so that students are encouraged to adopt independent
    learning skills.
  • Develop the work of middle leaders so that they drive improvement work and can be
    held to account by
    promoting and sharing the best practice within and across the three Grace
    making use of the role of the Director of Education to coordinate any initiatives to
    improve their work.
  • Improve the overall effectiveness of the sixth form so that it is good or better by:
    improving the quality of teaching and learning
    raising attainment
    improving leadership so that it has a greater impact on the work of the sixth
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils 2

Many of the student exam results in 2010 showed that attainment is rising. Most striking
was the 92% of students who achieved five or more GCSE A*to C grades which was a
significantly higher proportion when compared to the national picture. Looking more
closely at groups of students, the academy can point to significant improvements in
attainment, for example, for students eligible for free school meals. There was also an
impressive increase in the proportion of students who achieved five or more GCSE A* to C
grades, including English and mathematics, which rose from 29% to 45%. However
despite this strong upward trend, attainment in English and mathematics remains below
average. Evidence collated in lessons demonstrates that attainment in English and
mathematics is rising and moving towards an average similar to the national picture.
Overall students make good progress, as do those with special educational needs and/or
disabilities. The 2010 examination results showed that many students from the most
vulnerable circumstances made outstanding progress as a result of the excellent support
they have for their learning. In some lessons, students made good progress. What was
very evident to inspectors was the fact that orderly, calm lessons allowed some students
to make the most of the learning opportunities they were given. Although students were
keen to complete tasks they did not always have the skills to tackle work independently.
As a result, students often needed a high level of direction to complete tasks.
The number of fixed term exclusions halved in the last academic year and this trend
continues. Student behaviour in lessons and around the academy is good.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

The Academy Student Ambassadors (ASA) are highly effective in representing the student
voice. They are increasingly becoming involved in the work to improve the academy. The
chair and vice-chair of the ASA joined the final team meeting of inspectors and senior
leaders from the academy,where they made valuable and intuitive contributions, which
were influential to the discussions. Other opportunities exist for students to 'give back'
including the community service visits to Zambia nd South Africa supporting the work of
the charity Christian Vision.

These are the grades for pupils' outcomes

Pupils' achievement and the extent to which they enjoy their learning 2
Taking into account:
Pupils' attainment¹
The quality of pupils' learning and their progress 2
The quality of learning for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities
and their progress
The extent to which pupils feel safe 2
Pupils' behav iour 2
The extent to which pupils adopt healthy lifesty les 2
The extent to which pupils contribute to the school and wider community 2
The extent to which pupils develop workplace and other skills that will contribute to
their future economic well-being
Taking into account:
Pupils' attendance¹
The extent of pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 2


The grades for attainment and attendance are: 1 is high; 2 is above average; 3 is broadly average; and 4

is low

How effective is the provision?

Students' good and sometimes outstanding progress has come about because the
academy has provided exceptional support through targeted teaching programmes. The
overall quality of teaching is satisfactory but over the last two years the proportion of
good and outstanding teaching has increased. Inspectors observed a number of lessons
where teaching was outstanding. In these lessons, teachers were very clear as to what
they wanted students to learn and used exciting and challenging activities. When teaching
was good or outstanding, students responded well and were much more active in their
learning. In the lessons where teaching was satisfactory, teachers missed opportunities to
accelerate student's learning by expecting too little. Teaching also failed to provide
activities that effectively promoted the key business and enterprise skills by which the
academy wants teaching and learning to be distinguished.

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

The curriculum on offer is effectively channelling students into courses where they achieve
well, which is evident in the improving exam results. There is an increasing emphasis on
matching the curriculum to the abilities of students, which has led to entering students
early into examinations if they are ready. The business and enterprise specialism is making
the curriculum distinctive. Activities such as Enterprise Days, Global Enterprise week and
an increase in students taking business and enterprise courses are helping students to
develop skills such as communication, creativity and planning and organisation. There is a
good range of extra-curricular activities that are well attended and enjoyed by students.
The outstanding care, guidance and support the academy offers is a distinguishing feature
of its work. This is especially so for those students who for any reason are vulnerable or
find they are in need of extra support. There is a concerted effort to quickly identify these
students and then tailor support to meet their needs. Academy staff work exceptionally
well with a range of other agencies to ensure that student's well-being is nurtured.
Inspectors met with students and parents who all confirmed the emphasis the academy
puts on care and guidance.

These are the grades for the quality of provision

The quality of teaching 3
Taking into account:
The use of assessment to support learning
The extent to which the curriculum meets pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships
The effectiveness of care, guidance and support 1

How effective are leadership and management?

Over the previous year there have been a number of new appointments to key leadership
posts which led the academy to be cautious in its evaluation of the effectiveness of
leadership. However, inspectors found that because a determined drive to improve
standards has become the mindset in leadership, new leaders have responded quickly to
meet the challenge of high expectation. The rigorously focused leadership of the Principal
and vice-principals acts as a good role model for other leaders. Where leadership is still
developing, systems are in place to ensure support and challenge is provided to ensure
the momentum of improvement is not being lost. Typical of the work of leaders is a focus
on how well different groups of students achieve and, when necessary, action to address
any concerns. As a result the academy's work to promote equal opportunities is good.
Leaders measure their success robustly by evaluating the impact of their work. They
recognise that the impact of leadership and management has not brought about a high
enough proportion of good and outstanding teaching to judge that teaching is good. The
success of improvements so far has led to a belief that teaching can improve further.
Leaders are confidently developing and promoting good and outstanding teaching through
a number of very effective strategies. The glass classroom, for example, encourages the
best teaching to be promoted. The LATTe bring together a group of teachers that are

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

increasingly exploring ways that will mould teaching styles so that teaching engages
students more in their learning.
Governors, the executive leadership team, and more directly the local governing body, is
fully supportive of the work of the academy and have held the academy to account as it
has established its reputation. The governors see the academy as an integral part of the
community and student involvement, for example, in local rest homes, churches and
businesses contribute to the work to promote cohesion in the local area. As the work of
the academy now builds on its success governors appreciate the need for closer scrutiny
of the work to improve student's attainment and the quality of teaching and learning.
The effectiveness of safeguarding is outstanding because systems in place are thorough,
always followed and seen as highly important in every aspect of the school's work.

These are the grades for leadership and management

The effectiveness of leadership and management in embedding ambit ion and driving
Taking into account:
The leadership and management of teaching and learning
The effectiveness of the governing body in challenging and support ing the
school so that weaknesses are tackled decisively and statutory responsibilities met
The effectiveness of the school's engagement with parents and carers 2
The effectiveness of partnerships in promoting learning and well-being 2
The effectiveness with which the school promotes equality of opportunity and tackles
The effectiveness of safeguarding procedures 1
The effectiveness with which the school promotes community cohesion 3
The effectiveness with which the school deploys resources to achieve value for money 2

Sixth form

Students are keen to attend the academy sixth form. Since the previous monitoring visit
by Ofsted, the sixth form has improved and there are clear plans in place to continue this
The results achieved by students in the sixth form show that standards are low but given
students' low starting points their progress is satisfactory. The proportion of students
staying on from Year 12 to Year 13 has improved. It is a considerable achievement that all
students go onto further education, training or employment and points to the outstanding
work the academy does in its guidance for students from the most vulnerable
Students' behaviour is good and they are keen to make the most of the opportunities they
are given. Students in the sixth form play an influential role in leadership of charitable

Inspect ion grades: 1 is outstanding, 2 is good, 3 is sat isfactory, and 4 is inadequate

Please turn to the glossary for a description of the grades and inspection terms

events, international links and the academy's community programmes which ensure its
positive influence 'beyond the school gates', for example their important contribution to
the Coventry City Mission.
The quality of teaching is satisfactory with some which is outstanding. Stronger teaching
takes into account the prior performance and studies of students and uses this to inform
how a course should be taught. The same lessons also ensure opportunities are created
for students to think and speak freely about key questions and ideas so their learning is
more developed. The pace of lessons is brisk and effective. These opportunities,
assessment practices and consideration of past performance are less evident in
satisfactory lessons and pace is often slower. Teachers tend to lead such lessons and this
limits students' contribution, especially when questioning is less effective.
Students are able to follow a suitable range of academic and vocational pathways.
Supplementary programmes for improving numeracy and literacy are being established to
provide further curricular support. The quality of care, guidance and support in the sixth
form is clearly improving. Numbers of students entering the sixth form are rising
significantly and the entry criteria and advice for courses have become more demanding.
Students are now more likely to complete their courses and achieve an appropriate
qualification level, thanks to this guidance.
Senior leaders' improvement planning is more effective than in the past and the
monitoring and evaluation of performance have improved. Senior and middle leaders are
involved in regular scrutiny of student performance and new intervention systems are in
place but as yet this work has not been rigorously followed through to bring about
significant improvements in student outcomes.

These are the grades for the sixth form

Overall effectiveness of the sixth form 3
Taking into account:
Outcomes for students in the sixth form
The quality of provision in the sixth form 3
Leadership and management of the sixth form 3

Views of parents and carers

Most parents agreed that their child enjoyed being at the academy and that they were
making good progress. There were a few concerns raised over communication and
behaviour. Inspectors found that the academy made every effort to communicate
effectively with parents. Behaviour was judged to be good and there was compelling
evidence that the academy had raised expectations for behaviour which has created a
calm and purposeful working environment.

Responses from parents and carers to Ofsted's questionnaire

Ofsted invited all the registered parents and carers of pupils registered at Grace Academy Coventry to
complete a questionnaire about their views of the school.
In the questionnaire, parents and carers were asked to record how strongly they agreed with 13 statements
about the school. The inspection team received 261 completed questionnaires by the end of the on-site
inspection. In total, there are 815 pupils registered at the school.
The table above summarises the responses that parents and carers made to each statement. The
percentages indicate the proportion of parents and carers giving that response out of the total number of
completed questionnaires. Where one or more parents and carers chose not to answer a particular question,
the percentages will not add up to 100%.

Statements Strongly
Agree Disagree Strongly
Total % Total % Total % Total %
My child enjoys school 71 27 161 62 20 8 7 3
The school keeps my child
98 38 145 56 11 4 5 2
My school informs me about
my child's progress
84 32 138 53 32 12 3 1
My child is making enough
progress at this school
82 31 143 55 22 8 8 3
The teaching is good at this
79 30 142 54 27 10 7 3
The school helps me to
support my child's learning
65 25 150 57 34 13 5 2
The school helps my child to
have a healthy lifestyle
59 23 157 60 36 14 4 2
The school makes sure that
my child is well prepared for
the future (for example
changing year group,
changing school, and for
children who are finishing
school, entering further or
higher education, or entering
74 28 142 54 20 8 2 1
The school meets my child's
particular needs
74 28 149 57 32 12 2 1
The school deals effectively
with unacceptable behaviour
87 33 111 43 34 13 15 6
The school takes account of
my suggestions and concerns
55 21 138 53 44 17 6 2
The school is led and
managed effectively
82 31 141 54 22 8 7 3
Overall, I am happy with my
child's experience at this
94 36 131 50 25 10 7 3


What inspection judgements mean

Grade Judgement Description
Grade 1 Outstanding These features are highly effective. An outstanding school
provides exceptionally well for all its pupils' needs.
Grade 2 Good These are very positive features of a school. A school that
is good is serving its pupils well.
Grade 3 Satisfactory These features are of reasonable quality. A satisfactory
school is providing adequately for its pupils.
Grade 4 Inadequate These features are not of an acceptable standard. An
inadequate school needs to make significant improvement
in order to meet the needs of its pupils. Ofsted inspectors
will make further visits until it improves.

Overall effectiveness of schools

Overall effectiveness judgement (percentage of schools)
Type of school Outstanding Good Satisfactory Inadequate
Nursery schools 58 36 4 2
Primary schools 8 43 40 9
Secondary schools 10 35 42 13
Sixth forms 13 39 45 3
Special schools 33 42 20 4
Pupil referral units 18 40 29 12
All schools 11 42 38 9

New school inspection arrangements were introduced on 1 September 2009. This means that inspectors now
make some additional judgements that were not made previously.
The data in the table above are for the period 1 September 2009 to 31 March 2010 and are the most
recently published data available (see Please note that the sample of schools
inspected during the autumn and spring terms 2009/10 was not representative of all schools nationally, as
weaker schools are inspected more frequently than good or outstanding schools.
Percentages are rounded and do not always add exactly to 100. Secondary school figures include those that
have sixth forms, and sixth form figures include only the data specifically for sixth form inspection

Common terminology used by inspectors

Achievement: the progress and success of a pupil in their learning,
development or training.
Attainment: the standard of the pupils' work shown by test and
examination results and in lessons.
Capacity to improve: the proven ability of the school to continue
improving. Inspectors base this judgement on what
the school has accomplished so far and on the quality
of its systems to maintain improvement.
Leadership and management: the contribution of all the staff with responsibilities,
not just the headteacher, to identifying priorities,
directing and motivating staff and running the school.
Learning: how well pupils acquire knowledge, develop their
understanding, learn and practise skills and are
developing their competence as learners.
Overall effectiveness: inspectors form a judgement on a school's overall
effectiveness based on the findings from their
inspection of the school. The following judgements,
in particular, influence what the overall effectiveness
judgement will be.
The school's capacity for sustained
Outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils.
The quality of teaching.
The extent to which the curriculum meets
The effectiveness of care, guidance and
pupils' needs, including, where relevant,
through partnerships.
Progress: the rate at which pupils are learning in lessons and
over longer periods of time. It is often measured by
comparing the pupils' attainment at the end of a key
stage with their attainment when they started.

3 December 2010
Dear Students

Inspection of Grace Academy Coventry, Coventry, CV2 2RH

I am writing to thank you for your warm welcome and to inform you that inspectors
agreed with the senior leaders of your academy that overall Grace Academy is a good
academy. Inspectors were most impressed by:

  • the number of students that achieved five or more A*to C GCSE in 2010
  • the care guidance and support given to you as students especially those of you who
    for any reason have specific difficulties or challenges in life
  • the way the academy is promoting business and enterprise which is helping you to
    develop key skills, for example, decision making and team working
  • the fact that in 2010 every student that finished their time at Grace went on to
    further education, training or employment
  • the work of the Academy Student Ambassadors
  • the outstanding systems the academy has in place to keep students safe.

We were also impressed by the work of the senior leaders headed up by the Principal and
vice-Principal. Their work and the work of other staff prove that the academy has the
capacity to improve further. To do so we agreed that the academy should look especially
to improving the following:

  • the quality of teaching so that more is good and outstanding
  • the work of the middle leaders (e.g. heads of faculties) so that they can replicate the
    good work of senior leaders
  • the opportunities, quality of teaching and results you achieve in the sixth form.

Grace Academy has been opened for two years and the journey it has been on has
already seen significant improvements. We wish you well as you help make Grace
Academy a better place to be.
Yours sincerely

Andrew Cook
Her Majesty's Inspector


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