The Academy of St Nicholas receives high praise following Denominational Inspection

The Academy of St Nicholas, Garston, has received a ‘Good’ judgement following a recent Denominational Inspection under the Section 48 of the Education Act 2005.

The Section 48 inspection, which evaluates the effectiveness of a school’s religious education, collective worship, and overall ethos, commended the joint Catholic and Church of England academy and judged it good in all areas.

The report remarked: “The academy remains a significantly improving community with tangible and measured success in its Christian mission and vision both within school and in its links with home, parishes, and church communities in the wider area. This is a school committed to its gospel values of service to others through respect, ambition, resilience, and compassion.”

The academy, which is a proud member of All Saints Multi Academy Trust, was praised for its distinctive Christian nature and noted that it is good at meeting the needs of all learners, and the school articulates its Christian character outstandingly.

The report referenced: “This is a school where students and staff are connected and belong. […] Students are aware that the Christian character of the school is at the heart of its sense of purpose in guiding their life choices, and supporting rates of progress, which ensures they are confident young people. There is outstanding use of the school environment and campus to articulate its Christian character.”

Furthermore, it was highlighted that the effectiveness of religious education at The Academy of St Nicholas has significantly improved since the previous inspection.

In the report it detailed: “The department is now fully staffed by trained specialists. This team is skilfully led by the head of department who is committed to effective continued professional development for the staff. All of the above are outstanding features. The departmental team is cohesive and committed. Areas of expertise are readily shared between staff.”

The leadership and management of the school was also applauded. The report mentioned: “The headteacher ensures the school is outstanding in its living, understanding and shared ownership of its mission statement, vision and values. […] Governors and senior leaders articulate the mission with confidence and energy.

“The school is aware of the constant need to ensure that as many as possible of the community are included in the Christian life. There has been an upward trend over time in support from parents who regard the school through title and by action as living its Christian mission. […] Leaders are successful in their striving to maintain a school that is wholly Anglican and wholly Catholic.”

Headteacher of The Academy of St Nicholas, Mr Gary Lloyd said: “We are extremely pleased to receive a rating of ‘Good’ in the Denominational Inspection. This reflects the hard work and dedication of our entire school community. At The Academy of St Nicholas, we are committed to creating an environment where every student can thrive spiritually, academically, and personally in line with our Christian values. This report highlights the strength of our shared faith in school and our ongoing journey of improvement.”

This latest judgement follows a ‘Good’ Ofsted rating in 2023 – the first in the 13-year history of a school occupying the Horrocks Avenue site. This transformational journey is a testament to the dedicated leadership team and the invaluable support and guidance from All Saints Multi Academy Trust.

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