Best Practice

Case study: Overcoming coastal challenges

The challenges facing isolated and coastal schools are well known. A range of initiatives at Clacton Coastal Academy is helping its pupils to overcome the odds. Dorothy Lepkowska reports

Coastal towns have become the new inner cities when it comes to concerns over academic standards. While Britain’s sprawling urban areas were once centres of underachievement, the focus has shifted to some of the nation’s isolated and disadvantaged coastal areas.

But some coastal schools are bucking the trend, despite the many challenges and difficulties that come with living and working in a socially deprived area.

At Clacton Coastal Academy in Essex, more than half of students are now regularly achieving five or more A* to C grades at GCSE, including English and mathematics – this in a school where most pupils begin year 7 with below average attainment. The pupils come, mainly, from White working class backgrounds, the group now most likely to be underachieving nationally.

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