Three out of four academy chains have schools that are 'coasting', says new research

'Coasting' schools are defined as those that consistently fail to ensure 60 per cent of pupils achieve five good GCSEs

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The Independent Online

Three out of four academy chains have schools that are “coasting”, new research by The Sutton Trust has found.

Nearly half of the individual academies analysed in the Sutton Trust study would be classified as “coasting” under the Government’s new clampdown on schools. Twenty-six of the 34 chains had at least one coasting school.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has defined ‘coasting’ schools as those that consistently fail to ensure 60 per cent of pupils achieve five good GCSEs, including English and Maths. Coasting schools will be converted into academies, schools run by charities or businesses, she said.

But the report by The Sutton Trust,  which aims to improve social mobility through education, found that while some academy chains were out-performing the average for all state-funded schools, others performed poorly for disadvantaged pupils. Sir Peter Lampl, the charity’s chairman, said: “Many chain sponsors, despite several years in charge of their schools, continue to struggle to improve the outcomes of their most disadvantaged students.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “It is wrong and misleading to try to classify coasting schools based on 2014 data alone. A coasting school can only be identified based on performance over three years, so we won’t know until 2016 which schools they will be.”