Hundreds of “coasting” schools marked for academisation, research shows

The east of England has the highest proportion of “coasting” primary schools identified for intervention and potential forced academisation, a study has revealed.

According to new Government figures, 83 (six per cent) of the 1,505 primary schools in the eastern regions of England have been marked for academisation.

Schools in the west and east midlands follow closely behind, with five per cent of schools identified as coasting.

At the low end, just one per cent of schools in London and the north east fell under the coasting category.

In total, 477 primary schools have been identified as meeting the Government’s definition of coasting in 2016.

Similar research also found that more than 800 secondary schools face being labelled as coasting based on their annual progress.

“Once a school has fallen within the coasting definition, Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) will engage with the school to consider its wider context, and decide whether additional support is needed to help current leaders improve the school,” say Department for Education (DfE) papers.

It suggests that only in a small minority of cases will RSCs direct a coasting maintained school to become a sponsored academy or move a coasting academy to a new trust.

Percentage of schools meeting the coasting definition by region:

London – 1%

North East – 1%

North West – 2%

South East – 3%

South West – 4%

Yorkshire and the Humber – 4%

West Midlands – 5%

East Midlands – 5%

East – 6%

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