How do you identify ‘coasting’ schools?

Jun 1, 2015 by

There’s no official definition … so what do education professionals think?

In the Queen’s speech, the government said it plans to convert so-called coasting schools into academies. So far, there is no official definition of what a “coasting” school is.

Emma Payne
Emma Payne

Emma Payne Headteacher, St Mary Redcliffe primary, Bristol

While we await a definition from the DfE, I looked up “coasting”. I don’t think I know any headteachers or teachers who “proceed with little or no effort”. This idea is insulting to our profession.

How do we solve problems in schools? Not by charging in, throwing blame around. We need collaboration, peer review and appropriate partnerships – and I’d like HMIs to get stuck in with schools in difficulty. And we need the same funding across the country. That doesn’t happen now.

Jonathan Simons
Jonathan Simons

Jonathan Simons, head of education, Policy Exchange

Coasting schools aren’t a clearly defined category. They’re spread across the country, they can have quite good headline results and the pupil population can be quite affluent. They’re schools where pupils are not making sufficient progress between 11 and 16. It can mean they have inconsistent teaching quality, particularly in the core departments.

It’s impossible to know how many are coasting. The national challenge looked at the bottom 600 secondaries, so I’d expect from a manageability point of view, for DfE to be focused on a few hundred.

Source: How do you identify ‘coasting’ schools? | Education | The Guardian

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