Case Study - Pinhoe Primary School

Sian Lane, Headteacher

Sian
The teachers feel inspired and a couple have said this has been the best training they’ve had for years. It is having a major impact on the way that they are thinking about the children and in the way they are interacting with the children and with other adults.

Sian Lane is the Headteacher at Pinhoe Primary School.  She is passionate about the power of coaching and is actively bringing in a coaching culture within her school

How has Liz Scott Coaching and Training worked with Sian?

Liz Scott Coaching and Training initially worked with primary school head teacher Sian Lane by providing 1-2-1 leadership coaching. This evolved to introduce a coaching culture throughout Sian’s school, Pinhoe Primary in Exeter. Sian’s longer-term aim is to help other schools in the area to follow suit.

What has been the impact of leadership coaching?

Sian explains: “Liz was my personal coach when I did my local leader of education training when I took up my first headship at another school about seven years ago. The coaching was absolutely brilliant in moving me on in my learning and development and it has been very powerful in helping me to identify where I am and where I want to go next; it has helped to steer me.

Coaching develops different aspects of leadership

Moving forward as a leader, there were issues to deal with such as delegation, managing difficult staff issue and under-performance, and work-life balance. Liz coached me through it and her coaching has had a big impact on the strength of my leadership.

Liz helped me with structures and ideas and ways of looking at my team. She sent frameworks for me to look at and pointed me towards research, but most of the coaching is about Liz asking the right questions to enable me to clarify and think more deeply about decision-making.

How is a coaching culture being developed at Pinhoe School?

I spoke to Liz about working across the school with different staff and she has come up with a bespoke package that will enable us to roll out a coaching culture at Pinhoe. Several members of staff have been given an intensive training programme and these are now leading teams of teachers and using the coaching techniques to help teachers to develop their practice to outstanding.

The benefits of coaching at Pinhoe

The level of conversation among these teams has become more reflective and we are seeing concrete results. The teachers are reaching their performance objectives and they are now identifying how they want to develop their own practice; so they are being more proactive. The teachers feel inspired and a couple have said this has been the best training they’ve had for years. It is having a major impact on the way that they are thinking about the children and in the way they are interacting with the children and with other adults.

Embedding the coaching culture

Two of the teachers who have done the teaching training are now going to train to be facilitators so they can train the rest of my staff. We are going to embed this across all staff and in the way we work with the children. We will also develop this with the children so that they have coaching conversations with each other.

Pinhoe is a ‘coaching school’

I’m so excited that Liz is now working with us to pilot Pinhoe as a coaching school that others can come to and learn from. I believe this approach is going to have a massive impact in the longer term.

What has been the impact of working with Liz Scott Coaching and Training?

Liz has been with me throughout my career as a head and there have been times when having her to talk to has been absolutely crucial in helping me to move forward and in moving the school forward. During times of pressure, she has helped me see the wood for the trees and that has been invaluable to me. Liz has a very calm, gentle approach but she is very clear and precise; she brings it right down to the nub of the matter.

I would most definitely recommend Liz to others.”