Coaching in school can be described as a structured, sustained process to embed new knowledge and skills into day-to-day practice. Coaching usually focuses on iterative professional dialogue designed to develop specific professional skills. It is not normally explicitly linked to career progression.
Why use a coaching approach?
- The development of teachers through good quality coaching should lead to rising achievement and a better provision for students. Well-targeted coaching has the most leverage and so well-planned school wide CPD should accelerate school improvement.
- Learning is driven by feedback, challenge and advice all of which are key components of a coaching approach. For this to happen effectively staff need trusting and open relationships.
A sustainable coaching environment requires many things:
- It needs to link to the evolving school improvement priorities, take account of the teaching and learning environment and, most importantly, reflect the development needs of individual teachers.
- Coaches need training and to develop themselves to ensure they have the expertise and capacity to undertake the role.
- Coaching time needs to be built into the school timetable and directed time and finance is necessary for supporting resources.
- It needs to be clear to staff how performance management and coaching are linked and the way they link to career advancement and reward.
- The school needs a method of tracking the process and impact of coaching. Thought needs to be given to the balance between reporting on outcomes and individual privacy to experiment and fail.
- A key component of the leadership and management of coaching is ensuring an individual has oversight of CPD and how it supports the school’s development priorities.
Lessons Learned provides interactive reporting that allows:
- Coaching goals to be reviewed at individual, subject and school level
- Monitoring of individual coaching cycle progression
- Tracking of the impact made by coaching
In addition, an individual’s goals can be linked to the school’s development priorities and CPD activities logged in the system.