Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, has stated that schools in England are set to face tougher exam targets.
Under plans announced this morning, Ms Morgan said that those falling below the targets – including some schools rated as “good” by Ofsted – will be labelled as ‘coasting schools’.
The new threshold for secondary schools revealed this morning will require 60% of pupils to achieve five good GCSEs, including English and maths.
The Education Secretary stated that she is unapologetic about shining a spotlight on complacency. “For too long a group of coasting schools, many in leafy areas with more advantages than schools in disadvantaged communities, have fallen beneath the radar.”
The schools which will be targeted therefore may be very good schools in their own right, however they are not fulfilling young people’s potential.
As a result of this, the education department says that “hundreds” of schools will have to raise their results to meet these higher expectations.
Brian Lightman, the head teachers’ leader, doesn’t agree with Ms Morgan, stating that the definitions for this new category were “muddled and unfair”. Schools falling into this coasting category will be given help to improve, however those that fail to make sufficient progress could be turned into academies.
The plans, which were introduced in the Education and Adoption Bill, are aimed at raising the standards in hundreds of schools that are achieving adequate exam results, but where the government believes achievement could be a lot higher.
There will also be a target for primary schools to stay above this coasting label, requiring 85% of pupils to achieve the expected standard in their national curriculum tests.