Future 50: How Coaching Can Help Principals
Coaching for the professions is an area of huge growth – globally it is now a billion dollar industry. But it’s not just top executives who can benefit. As one of the most difficult academic years in history draws to a close, Mary-Jo Hill of Coach for School Improvement says it can pay dividends for top teachers.
“Principals like to put others before themselves,” she says. “It’s hard for them to recognize that it’s worth investing a little money in themselves – yet they’re often one of a school’s most expensive assets.
“It’s all about maintenance: you wouldn’t let your car break down. Not when you know you can prevent it by having it fixed. Coaching, as a structured strategy for leadership, is about resistance and well-being.
Since the start of the pandemic, Coach for School Improvement has worked with more than 50 school principals across Norfolk. “A lot of people thrived in that early stage, where they had to be very responsive – that’s a gift a lot of chefs have,” says Mary-Jo.
“But having to do it for so long, so relentlessly, is exhausting. There is also a frustration when so much has been imposed from top to bottom. Often at the last minute.
The head of the establishment must be able to discuss with an impartial and independent coach, knowing that everything is confidential. “The principals we worked with took valuable action as a result, as they developed structured and focused strategies,” says Mary-Jo.
Regardless of the challenges of managing the changing rules of Covid on top of all the traditional issues of school budget and academic success, school leaders face increasing pressures on everything from protection to well-being. Staff.
“School principals are starting to say, ‘I actually have to put myself first or I’m not going to survive this,’” says Mary-Jo.
“Usually, when coaching is presented to governors, they support it wholeheartedly,” she concludes. “It is their duty of care and it is practical … Especially when you consider how long and difficult it can be to replace a manager in the event of an outage.”
For more information see www.coachforschoolimprovement.co.uk