Revealed: The government's definition of a 'coasting' school in 2017

The Department for Education has published its definition of “coasting” schools in 2017.

Schools defined as coasting by the government are targeted for intervention. For local authority-maintained schools, this can include forced transfer to an academy sponsor,  while coasting academies can face being rebrokered to a new sponsor.

In 2017, a secondary school will be defined as coasting if…

  • In 2015, fewer than 60% of pupils achieved 5 A*-C at GCSE (including English
    and maths) and less than the national median achieved expected progress in
    English and in maths, and
  • in 2016, the school’s Progress 8 score was below -0.25, and
  • in 2017, the school’s Progress 8 score was below -0.25

Secondary schools are excluded from the measure if they have fewer than six pupils at the end of key stage 4, or less than 50 per cent of pupils have key stage 2 assessments that can be used in Progress 8 calculations, or if the school closes within the academic year.

And a primary school will be defines as coasting if…

  • In 2015, fewer than 85% of pupils achieved level 4 in English reading, English
    writing and mathematics and below the national median percentage of pupils
    achieved expected progress in all of English reading, English writing and
    mathematics, and
  • In 2016, fewer than 85% of pupils achieved the expected standard at the end of
    primary schools and average progress made by pupils was less than -2.5 in
    English reading, -2.5 in mathematics or -3.5 in English writing, and
  • In 2017, fewer than 85% of pupils achieved the expected standard at the end of
    primary schools and average progress made by pupils was less than -2.5 in
    English reading, -2.5 in mathematics or -3.5 in English writing.

Primary schools are excluded from the measure if they have fewer than 11 pupils at the end of key stage 2, or fewer than 50 per cent of pupils had key stage 1 assessments that can be used to establish prior attainment.

They will also be excluded if there is not “sufficient key stage 2 attainment information” to produce progress scores because there are fewer than 6 pupils with key stage 2 results for a particular subject, or if the school closes within the academic year.

According to the government, both primary and secondary schools have to be below the relevant coasting threshold in all three years to fall within the overall coasting definition.

These measures are the same as they were for 2016.