Investing more time in coaching approaches to professional development could pay dividends for your schools, says assistant principal Laura Mackay. She offers some tenets of good practice

In recent years, coaching as a tool to support professional development has formalised and intensified across the educational landscape – and for good reason. Teachers and leaders often employ constructive listening, and utilise the careful questioning skills, associated with coaching.

Investing more time in developing the range of skills connected to coaching theory and processes can benefit the CPD for all staff and contribute to the collaborative culture of a school. There are plenty of coaching models to explore, many of which have been used across other sectors.

There is a wealth of research that is emerging about how these models might be applicable to education settings, but embedding a coaching culture where value is placed on the time to really listen, think deeply and nurture the emotional intelligence of staff and pupils, must take priority over getting too bogged down in sticking to strict coaching models or question structures.

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