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23/2/24: Ofsted Inspection Report Letter to Parents

Friday 23rd February 2024

Dear Parent/Carer, 

Ofsted Inspection

I am delighted to be able to officially share the outcome of our recent Ofsted inspection with you all. 

Ofsted has now completed their inspection of the school and has awarded us a "Good" grade with “Outstanding” personal development.  This is incredibly exciting for us as the school had been categorised as “Requires Improvement” since 2016 and was previously graded as “Inadequate”; this is the first time the school has received a “Good” since 2010.  We are particularly proud that one of our parents commented: “Grace Academy is a beautiful school that teaches more than academics”.  

We are so proud of what we have achieved together.  Our students are outstanding young people and our staff are committed and dedicated to providing an excellent quality of education for our students.  As the report states: "The school has successfully raised expectations around learning and behaviour".  I cannot thank you all enough for your support and your belief that this school is the right school for your child.  The parental feedback from the Ofsted survey was overwhelmingly positive and we are truly thankful for such a wonderful community that the values the education we provide. 

We are particularly proud to share that we received an "Outstanding" grade for personal development, which is the highest grade that can be awarded, due to our exceptionally strong emphasis on our student's personal development.  Over the last three years we have relentlessly focused on raising the standard of education for our young people, whilst also focusing significantly on development of culture, character and experience of school through the Grace Way - the report says "The school 'puts its arm around the community'" - and it is testament to this work that we have received such prestigious recognition in this category. 

I have attached the report for you to read and please do share this with your child - it is their own belief in their Limitless Potential that has allowed this school, after 14 years, to be recognised in this way through our our commitment to Intentional Excellence

We want to continue providing a great quality of education for all our students, 'The Grace Way', and are pleased that we have made such an impact over the last few years and look forward to continuing to do so. 

Thank you again for your continuing support. 

Yours sincerely, 

Mrs N Whiles

School report

Inspection of Grace Academy Coventry
Wigston Road, Coventry, West Midlands CV2 2RH
Inspection dates: 30 and 31 January 2024
Overall effectiveness Good
The quality of education Good
Behaviour and attitudes Good
Personal development Outstanding
Leadership and management Good
Sixth-form provision Good
Previous inspection grade Requires improvement

The principal of this school is Natasha Whiles. This school is part of Tove Learning Trust, which means other people in the trust also have responsibility for running the school. The trust is run by the chief executive officer, Dr Jamie Clarke, and overseen by the board of trustees, chaired by Christopher Watt.

Inspection report: Grace Academy Coventry
30 and 31 January 2024 2

What is it like to attend this school?
Grace Academy Coventry staff and pupils share the same high aspirations. Pupils
understand and follow ‘The Grace Way’, which includes the values of ‘limitless
potential’ and ‘mutual respect’. Relationships between pupils and staff are courteous
and respectful. Pupils are happy and safe. A parent’s comment, typical of those of
others, was, ‘Grace Academy is a beautiful school that teaches more than
academics. They have a way of teaching the children empathy for others.’

There is a purposeful atmosphere around the school. Pupils can focus on their
learning well. Pupils work hard and want to learn. Teachers speak calmly with any
pupil who loses concentration and offer support to help them regain focus. Pupils’
very positive attitudes, along with the well-thought-out curriculum, enable pupils to
achieve well by the time they leave school.

The school places an exceptionally strong emphasis on pupils’ personal
development. The school ‘puts its arm around the community’ to celebrate and
support pupils inside and outside school. Pupils can explain clearly their
understanding of fundamental British values, such as democracy. Pupil leadership
opportunities include mental health and anti-bullying ambassadors. The extra
curricular programme is rich and diverse. Pupils regularly take part in a range of
activities, such as journalism and spoken-word clubs.
What does the school do well and what does it need to do
There have been significant and highly effective staffing changes since the previous
inspection. These include changes to staff in senior, subject and pastoral leadership
roles. The school has successfully raised expectations around learning and
behaviour. The school has developed a highly ambitious and well-sequenced
curriculum. All pupils, including pupils with special educational needs and/or
disabilities (SEND), follow this curriculum. The school’s actions to improve the
curriculum have led to improving pupil outcomes by the end of key stage 4.

Students in the sixth form are positive about their learning experiences and the
wider opportunities the school provides. Sixth-form teachers engage students in
ambitious, challenging and independent learning. This enables students to achieve
well. Students make a significant contribution to supporting younger pupils, for
example by acting as mentors.

Curriculum leaders identify the most important information that pupils need to learn
to build their future knowledge. For example, Year 7 pupils in English use their
knowledge of key poetry features to discuss how a reader might feel about a poem
and what the poet’s reasons are for writing the poem. Teachers check what pupils
know and ensure well that pupils understand what they have to do. However, some
pupils, including pupils with SEND and disadvantaged pupils, have gaps in their
learning due to absence. This means that some pupils do not always understand
how their current learning connects with previous work.

Inspection report: Grace Academy Coventry
30 and 31 January 2024 3

Staff know and teach their subjects well. This enables pupils to gain and remember
new knowledge successfully. However, some pupils feel that homework tasks are not
always given consistently across different subjects. Pupils are not always clear about
whether homework is solely for revision purposes or to develop their current and
previous learning more deeply.

The school quickly identifies pupils with SEND. ‘Pupil passports’ provide precise
information for staff about pupils’ individual needs. Teachers use this information
effectively to adapt their teaching. The school has implemented an extensive range
of strategies to support pupils who are not confident readers. These include the use
of specialist teachers, who rapidly address weaknesses in phonics, grammar and
comprehension. The school ensures that pupils who need reading support receive it
rapidly. This includes a carefully planned programme for pupils who speak English as
an additional language and pupils who join the school at different points across the

The school has an extremely well-planned programme of personal, social, health
and economic education. Pupils learn about topics such as healthy relationships and
online safety effectively. Pupils also speak positively about how the school educates
them about cultures and diversity. Pupils and students in the sixth form discuss
careers, university aspirations and apprenticeships. This prepares them very well for
the next stage of their lives.

The school encourages pupils to raise money for local charities, as well as collecting
and distributing hampers and food parcels to the immediate community. This
develops a very strong and effective social awareness among pupils.

Trustees and governors know the school very well. They support and challenge
appropriately in meetings and on their visits to the school. They hold the school to
account well for all aspects of provision, including safeguarding and the quality of
SEND provision. The school has implemented a well-thought-out, professional
development programme for staff. Staff workload is carefully considered, which staff
The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.
What does the school need to do to improve?
(Information for the school and appropriate authority)
◼ Some pupils have gaps in their learning due to being absent from school. This
holds back their progress and achievement. The school should work with parents
and carers and external agencies to secure more regular attendance for all pupils
and ensure that missing work is completed rapidly.

Inspection report: Grace Academy Coventry
30 and 31 January 2024 4

◼ Pupils do not always understand the purpose of homework tasks and do not learn
consistently from them. The school should ensure that pupils understand and
receive regular and consistent opportunities to complete and learn from
homework tasks, in line with the school’s expectations.
How can I feed back my views?

You can use Ofsted Parent View to give Ofsted your opinion on your child’s school,
or to find out what other parents and carers think. We use information from Ofsted
Parent View when deciding which schools to inspect, when to inspect them and as
part of their inspection.
The Department for Education has further guidance on how to complain about a
Further information
You can search for published performance information about the school.
In the report, ‘disadvantaged pupils’ is used to mean pupils with special educational
needs and/or disabilities (SEND); pupils who meet the definition of children in need
of help and protection; pupils receiving statutory local authority support from a
social worker; and pupils who otherwise meet the criteria used for deciding the
school’s pupil premium funding (this includes pupils claiming free school meals at
any point in the last six years, looked after children (children in local authority care)
and/or children who left care through adoption or another formal route).

Inspection report: Grace Academy Coventry
30 and 31 January 2024 5

School details
Unique reference number 135335
Local authority Coventry
Inspection number 10290582
Type of school Secondary comprehensive
School category Academy sponsor-led
Age range of pupils 11 to 18
Gender of pupils Mixed
Gender of pupils in sixth-form
Number of pupils on the school roll 993
Of which, number on roll in the
sixth form
Appropriate authority Board of trustees
Chair of trust Christopher Watt
CEO of trust Dr Jamie Clarke
Principal Natasha Whiles
Dates of previous inspection 17 and 18 December 2019, under
section 5 of the Education Act 2005
Information about this school
◼ The school is part of Tove Learning Trust, which contains 14 schools.
◼ The school makes use of one alternative provider.
◼ The school meets the requirements of the provider access legislation, which requires schools to provide pupils in Years 8 to 13 with information and engagement about approved technical education qualifications and apprenticeships.
Information about this inspection
The inspectors carried out this graded inspection under section 5 of the Education
Act 2005.

Inspection report: Grace Academy Coventry
30 and 31 January 2024 6

◼ Inspections are a point-in-time judgement about the quality of a school’s
education provision.
◼ This was the first routine inspection the school had received since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Inspectors discussed the impact of the pandemic with the
school and have taken that into account in their evaluation of the school.
◼ Inspectors focused on the following deep dives: English, science, history, drama, and health and social care. Inspectors looked at leaders’ curriculum planning, visited lessons, heard pupils read to a familiar adult, looked at pupils’ work and talked with pupils about their learning. Inspectors also looked at the curriculum in other subjects.
◼ Inspectors reviewed a range of school documents. These included information
about pupils’ behaviour and attendance, and the school’s curriculum and
improvement planning. The school’s website was also checked.
◼ To evaluate the effectiveness of safeguarding, the inspectors: reviewed the single
central record; took account of the views of leaders, staff and pupils; and
considered the extent to which the school has created an open and positive
culture around safeguarding that puts pupils’ interests first.
◼ Inspectors observed informal times of the day as part of their evaluation of
safeguarding and pupils’ behaviour.
◼ Inspectors held meetings with the chair of the trust, the chair of the local
governing board, the director of education, the principal and other senior leaders,
teachers, teaching assistants, administrative staff and pupils. Inspectors also
talked informally to pupils, staff and parents to gather information about school
◼ Inspectors considered responses to Ofsted Parent View, including the free-text
comments. Inspectors also considered the responses to Ofsted’s staff survey and
pupil questionnaires.
Inspection team
Stuart Clarkson, lead inspector His Majesty’s Inspector
Graeme Rudland Ofsted Inspector
Josie Leese Ofsted Inspector
Patrick Amieli Ofsted Inspector

Inspection report: Grace Academy Coventry
30 and 31 January 2024 7

The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)
regulates and inspects to achieve excellence in the care of children and young
people, and in education and skills for learners of all ages. It regulates and
inspects childcare and children’s social care and inspects the Children and Family
Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), schools, colleges, initial teacher
training, further education and skills, adult and community learning, and education
and training in prisons and other secure establishments. It assesses council
children’s services and inspects services for children looked after, safeguarding and
child protection.

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