Over 800 schools to be labelled as ‘coasting’, figures reveal

Official figures published by the Department for Education (DfE) have revealed that over 800 schools are set to be labelled as ‘coasting’ under provisional Progress 8 measures.

The term ‘coasting’ has proven controversial due to its ambiguity and came under particular scrutiny when it was announced that schools deemed as coasting could be forced to convert to academies under plans included the Educational Excellence Everywhere white paper.

However, the government has now seemingly distanced themselves from these proposals, with a renewed focus on greater selection, and says it will instead encourage schools to consider conversion or joining a successful multi-academy trust voluntarily.

The figures give a breakdown of ‘coasting’ school based on school type and geographic region.

Of the 2,477 KS2 academies, 106 would be classed as coasting (4.3 per cent), compared to 373 of 11,024 local authority maintained schools (3.4 per cent).

This is interesting, as it shows that a higher proportion of academies at KS2 level would be classed as coasting compared to their local authority counter parts, suggesting the government’s plans to force local authority run schools to convert into academies may not have produced the desired improvements.

However, KS4 painted a slightly different picture, with 176 of a total 1,945 academies classed as coasting (nine per cent), compared to 151 of the 1,090 local authority maintained secondaries (13.9 per cent).

Overall, the total number of KS2 schools classed as coating stands at 479, along with 327 coasting KS4 schools, with East Midlands & Humber having the highest number of coasting schools at both KS2 (73) and KS4 (58).

Schools will not be formally classed as coasting until revised results are published in December for KS2 and January for KS4. School commissioners will then review if a school requires additional support to improve, although the official line is now that the government will encourage schools to become academies voluntarily as apposed to forcing them to convert.

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