School performance in coastal communities

There is increasing concern over the poor performance of schools located in small coastal towns in England. This project is exploring differences in performance among schools in coastal communities, as well as comparing performance of coastal schools with performance of similar schools located in other areas. By doing so, this project aims to establish whether there is a distinct coastal schools problem, or whether it is simply a manifestation of challenges seen in other areas with similar levels of deprivation.

The poor performance of schools in coastal areas has attracted increasing attention. While this poorer performance has partly been attributed to the higher proportion of disadvantaged pupils in coastal schools, such pupils appear to fare worse than similarly disadvantaged pupils in other geographical areas (Ofsted, 2013). This project is undertaking quantitative analysis of performance of schools in small coastal towns in England, in order to explore variation in performance among coastal schools and to better understand the factors underlying this.


This project is funded by the Department for Education. It began in November 2015 and will be completed by Spring 2016.


Lucy Stokes, Helen Bewley, Michele Bernini and Jake Anders


Research programmes