Nicky Morgan has today revealed how "coasting" schools will be defined. Unexpectedly the definition does not include any element of value added. Instead both criteria (absolute KS2 or GCSE results, and levels of progress) are strongly correlated to ability at entry. Schools with a lower ability intake will therefore be much more likely to find themselves categorised as coasting. Calculations based on the DfE definitions reveal that at least 2,833 schools are likely to fit the new category.
Secondaries: 814 set to be targetted as "coasting"
The DfE definition: "For secondary schools, a school will be coasting if in 2014 and 2015 fewer than 60% of children achieve 5 A*-C including English and mathematics and they are below the median level of expected progress"
At August 2014, there were 3,019 mainstream secondary schools that had Year 11 results. Of these 814 fit the criteria above, if we use 2013 and 2014 figures, having fewer than 60% achieve 5 A-Cs including English and Maths in both the last two years, and being below the median for the "expected" three levels of progress in English (74%) and Maths (69%),
The 814 secondaries are made up of 470 maintained schools, 182 sponsored academies and 160 converter academies (and 2 others). The high level of converter academies is perhaps a surprise as these generally converted on the basis of being Good or outstanding.
Of the 814 "coasting" secondaries at least 125 had a Best 8 value added measure above the national average. However the fact they were providing positive value added does not appear to stop them being described as coasting.
Primaries: At least 2,019 set to be targetted as "coasting"
The DfE definition: "At primary level the definition will apply to those schools that for three years have seen fewer than 85% of children achieving level 4, the secondary ready standard, in reading, writing and maths and which have also seen below average proportions of pupils making expected progress between age seven and age eleven."
At August 2014 there were 14,736 primary schools with Year 6 results. Of these an estimated 2,019 achieved less than 85% for the last three years and were also below the median for the percentage achieving 2 levels of progress in Maths (93%), Reading (93%) and Writing (96%).
There is an element of uncertainty here. I have assumed that schools have to be below average in expected progress for Maths, for Reading and for Writing. If they only have to be below average for the average of these three figures, then the number of coasting schools will be much higher. The 2,019 figure is therefore the lowest likely level.
The calculations come directly from the DfE's release of school-level data, available here
for both primary (KS2) and secondary (KS4). I have used figures for the last two years (secondary) and last three years (primary). The actual numbers of schools may differ as 2015 results will be used.