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regulations on coasting schools published

31 October 2016

Regulations which define coasting schools have now been laid before Parliament. They are the final legal piece of the school intervention jigsaw brought about by this Government’s Education and Adoption Act.

The definition is based on published performance data (with separate definitions for primary and secondary) over a three year period. It now includes the progress score thresholds for 2016 performance. Their inclusion was designed to quieten previous concerns that schools with low-attaining intakes would be placed at a disadvantage. However, a recent Education Policy Institute report identified that, even taking the Progress 8 score into account, secondary schools with high rates of disadvantage are still far more likely to be labelled as coasting.

The DfE state that the coasting criteria reflect “accountability measures that schools already know and understand”. It will be interesting to see whether there is in fact scope for debate based on the data and even more interesting to see any patterns in how RSCs exercise their intervention 'discretion' when 'supporting' coasting schools.

The draft regulations will now go through the Parliamentary process but, in any event, the DfE has stated that coasting schools will not be identified until after the 2016 performance tables have been published.

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