DfE extends remit of intervention for coasting academies
DfE has added to its academy funding agreements to make provision for coasting.
The new provisions are intended to bring academies into line with maintained schools, so that once the legislation is in force the Secretary of State will be able to issue a Coasting Notice where an academy is found to be 'coasting' and will require an academy trust to submit a plan of action for improvement within a set deadline.
Where the Secretary of State believes that an academy has not improved sufficiently, she may then issue the academy trust with a termination warning notice. A termination warning notice will provide the academy trust with further time to deal with any concerns raised by the Secretary of State. Where the terms of such notice are not complied with, a termination notice will be issued and the funding agreement terminated.
All schools wishing to convert to academy status from 10 September 2015 are required to adopt the DfE's updated model funding agreement with these provisions although the legislation introducing the coasting provisions is not expected until spring 2016.
The amendment may not be of great surprise given the current political backdrop, but it seems odd that academies are being required to include these provisions so far in advance of the legislation that will give effect to the changes. Although the legislation has passed through the initial parliamentary stages unamended there is still scope for changes in the provisions before the statutory concept of coasting schools comes into effect.
The Education and Adoption Bill does not define coasting schools itself but allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to define what ‘coasting’ means in relation to a school.” The draft "Coasting Schools (England) Regulations" have been prepared with further detail of what constitutes a coasting school and the measures that may be taken. The regulations will be issued for consultation soon. It is anticipated that the Regulations will come into force at the end of 2016, but our understanding from discussions with the DfE is that no action is expected on any "coasting schools" until after the 2016 results are published..
Further reading from Wrigleys Education Team
Further discussion regarding the concept of 'coasting schools' is here
Our earlier article providing further detail of the Education and Adoption Bill is here
You can follow the progress of the Education and Adoption Bill via this link
If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article further, please contact Chris Billington on 0113 244 6100.
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The information in this article is necessarily of a general nature. Specific advice should be sought for specific situations. If you have any queries or need any legal advice please feel free to contact Wrigleys Solicitors