Bradford 01274 350 800
Leeds 0113 849 4000
Huddersfield 01484 915 000

Further guidance on the definition of a ‘coasting school’

Schools that are deemed to be ‘coasting’ will be targeted for improvement and offered help to improve their results under new Government plans. The Government’s schools commissioners will assess whether the coasting school has a credible improvement plan and will support those schools that can improve. Those schools that cannot improve will be converted into academies. If a school has already become an academy, they could be given a new academy sponsor. This new measure will be introduced by the Education and Adoption Bill, which is currently progressing through Parliament.

Until recently there was no clarification on what exactly was a coasting school. The Government has now issued a press release stating that those schools eligible for intervention will be those which fall below a new coasting level for three years.

  • For secondary schools, the level for 2014 and 2015 will be set at 60% of pupils achieving 5 A*-C GCSEs (including English and mathematics) or an above-average proportion of pupils making acceptable progress.
  • From 2016, a new accountability measure will be introduced and the level will be set based on ‘Progress 8’, which shows how much progress pupils have made between finishing primary school and their GCSEs.
  • For primary schools, the coasting level will apply to those who have seen fewer than 85% of children achieving the secondary-ready standard (level 4) in reading, writing and maths over the course of three years, and those who have seen a below-average proportion of pupils making expected progress between age 7 and 11.

A school will have to fall below these levels for three years to be deemed as coasting. Could these new levels mean that schools falling below targets yet rated as ‘good' by Ofsted will be labelled as coasting?

We will not know until 2016 how many schools are captured within this definition. However the Government is expecting it to apply to hundreds of schools.

For further information contact Andrew Hurst on 01274 306 000.