Background to Dartmouth Academy
In 2010 Dartmouth Primary School and Dartmouth Community College merged to form Dartmouth Academy. Following this merger the school underwent a period of rapid change; a new Principal and many new staff joined the Academy. Dartmouth Academy was keen to support and develop good leadership and decided to use coaching. The principal, Nick Hindmarsh from Dartmouth Academy needed to develop strong leaders and to embed a coaching culture against the backdrop of significant change.
Challenges for Dartmouth Academy
There were several challenges for Dartmouth Academy.
- Many leaders on the extended leadership team were new to leadership.
- There was a significant turnover of staff (One third of Community College Staff were replaced)
- Academic standards needed to be raised
- A culture of listening and questioning needed to be established to improve teaching and learning
How has Liz Scott Coaching and Training been working with Dartmouth Academy?
Liz Scott Coaching and Training was asked to work with existing and new leaders with one to one coaching. This took place over a period of an academic year. Each leader received coaching and was able to reflect on and develop their own leadership style. Some of the key areas addressed involved
- Dealing with change
- How to have successful conversations
- Building relationships
What has been the impact for Dartmouth Academy?
Coaching has been central to the development of leadership at the Academy – it is one of several strategies the school has employed to improve standards. The Academy has continued to develop coaching as part of their culture.
Nick Hindmarsh the Principal wanted to develop strong and robust leadership at the Academy. The 1:1 coaching helped to develop confidence, efficiency and professionalism amongst the leaders. Nick Hindmarsh says: “It improved our practice and our ability to cope with the rapid changes that were taking place.” He went on to say, “Liz has provided expert mentoring, coaching and support to my senior and middle leaders. Her, and her team’s, support was an integral part of our cultural shift in our first year, as it allowed an openness and an outlet for key staff to reflect upon and develop their practice.”