The official definition for a ‘coasting school’ has been revealed today. This matters because schools defined as coasting are eligible for intervention from the government under the proposed Education Bill.


First things of note:

The status will not be based on Ofsted categories. It will be based on exam scores over three years.

Schools will not be classed as coasting until 2016. Data from 2014, 2015 and 2016 will be used to define them.


In 2016, a ‘coasting’ Secondary Schools will be one that:

In 2014 and 2015 had a five A*-C GCSE pass rate (including English and Maths) of below 60%;

And had a below average proportion of pupils making expected progress in English AND maths between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4;

And in 2016 receives a below-standard score on the new Progress 8 measure. (This standard will be set after the 2016 results to ensure it is at a suitable level).



So, in 2016, a school will be judged as coasting based on its GCSE pass score and expected progress scores of the 2014 and 2015 cohorts and the Progress 8 score of the 2016 cohort.

In 2017, a school will be judged by its GCSE pass rate and expected progress of the 2015 cohort, plus the Progress 8 scores of the 2016 and 2017 groups.

And by 2018, coasting schools will be selected based on three years of Progress 8 scores.

Remember:  Schools must be below the required quality bar every year across the three year period to count as coasting.




For Primary Schools in 2016, a coasting school will be one that:

Had less than 85 per cent of children achieving level 4, in each year between 2014, 2015 and 2016, and had below average proportions of pupils making expected progress in reading AND writing AND maths between Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.

So, if a school has above average proportions of pupils make expected progress in just one area – say, reading in 2014 – then it is out of the coasting definition.

There is no shift to a different measure defined in the proposed definition, but as primary schools move to the new national curriculum tests, and away from levels, it is likely ‘level 4’ will be replaced with an equivalent score.


‘Below average’ is based on median levels of expected progress for both primary and secondary schools.


This definition will be presented at the Education and Adoption Bill Committee today. Follow @schoolsweek on Twitter for updates.