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This unit supports training of people in your school in the art and science of coaching. Participants can then train others, and coach adults and pupils in the school.

Coaching is not hierarchical in any way: you will have achieved a real coaching culture when the school is confident enough to enable newly qualified teachers to coach senior leaders, pupils to coach teachers and support staff to coach the headteacher.

A coaching culture will bring significant benefits to the whole school. This will require from you, as the leader of this initiative, courage, commitment and a belief in the potential of people to develop and, at times, transform.

Coaching involves human interaction at a very high and sophisticated level. The coach has to be sincere in their intentions, committed to the belief in the potential that lies within each individual and passionate about wanting to support another individual’s growth.

In this first unit it is important to give participants the opportunity to ask themselves (and you) these questions:

  • ‘What is coaching?’

  • ‘How is coaching different from mentoring?’
  • ‘Why should I bother with coaching?’

As a coach your wisdom comes not from telling but from listening, challenging and empathising. You will develop a richness in ‘emotional intelligence’ – the ability to know yourself, control yourself, understand others and support others.

Aims and outcomes

Participants will:

  • understand what coaching is, how it differs from mentoring and how it can be used to support them on a personal, team and whole-school level
  • be able to describe to others at least three clear features of coaching
  • be able to give at least three ways that coaching differs from mentoring
  • be able to decide on at least five preferred and clear benefits of coaching for pupils, the school and the coach.

Unit contents

  • Why are we here?
  • What is coaching?
  • Exploring beliefs and interpretations
  • Coaching and mentoring - the differences
  • The benefits of coaching
  • Coaching examples
  • Inter-unit activity and review

Unit content

Unit 1: What is coaching and why use it?