Regional breakdown of coasting schools: Will RSCs be able to cope?

Regional breakdown of coasting schools: Will RSCs be able to cope?

A fifth of secondary schools in two regional school commissioner (RSC) areas would be classed as coasting under current pupil data – raising fresh fears about the capability of their teams to cope.

Exclusive analysis for Schools Week, put together by Education Datalab, has broken down the number of coasting schools per RSC area.

It reveals huge disparities between the number of coasting primary and secondary schools in each area (see table above and below).

One in five secondary schools in the North, overseen by Janet Renou, would be judged coasting on data from 2012-14. But only 3 per cent of primary schools in the region would fit the criteria.

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In the South London and South East of England region, an extra 186 schools could fall under the remit of RSC Dominic Herrington when coasting measures are introduced in 2016.

Most RSC teams have at least seven staff to assist the commissioner. The teams are also advised by a board of headteachers who are expected to work a day per week.

But the hundreds of new schools set to land in their in-trays has meant junior schools minister Lord Nash said RCS would need to be given more resources as their roles expanded.

He said: “I expect in time we may need more regional schools commissioners — they will certainly need more people.

“They are heavily supported from the Department for Education . . . they will certainly need an increase in capacity, but we do not want them to become another arm of the DFE; we want them to be fairly tight-run organisations.

“I have to say that, having visited all of them and sat in all eight of the headteacher boards, they are performing extremely well.”