What is a coasting school? Of course the starting point is the DfE data driven definition – a complex series of criteria over the last three years against changing thresholds and expectations.

But what does this actually tell us?

  • That teaching hasn’t been strong enough to achieve consistently good outcomes?

  • That learning has been generally secure, but could be better for some pupils?

  • That leadership could be even more effective in maintaining the quality of impact in the classroom?

Three big challenges in any school, but especially when you take probable staff and pupil turnover into account.

So what’s the solution?

We could rely on fortunate recruitment, a few strong leaders, supportive parents, good retention – but that’s not a sustainable solution and many schools don’t enjoy these opportunities.

What else can we do?

Look at the way teachers work together. Are they routinely supporting and challenging each other about the challenges their pupils are facing in their progress? Is there a common language in the school about teaching and learning so that leaders understand colleagues’ thinking, planning and expectations? Do leaders and teachers evaluate progress and attainment together – not just the data, but what the pupils are achieving and what else they might achieve? And when we recognise the barriers, how do leaders and teachers work together to resolve them?

The NAHT Aspire Programme

Ensuring impact takes clear leadership strategies that have been proven in schools – other schools that have faced the same challenges and have overcome them to be securely and consistently good or outstanding. The NAHT Aspire programme builds a culture of collegiality and a collective focus on pupil outcomes through genuinely distributed leadership and collaborative problem, based on methods grounded in research; resulting in visible impact in successful schools who have enjoyed partnership working with their advisers and with each other.

To talk with a school that’s made this journey or to find out more about the programme contact us here.

Coasting Schools