Last reviewed on 18 November 2021
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Help your staff improve their performance, while creating a more collaborative culture through coaching. Find out what makes an effective coach and how you can make it work in your school.

This article is based on guidance from SkillsYouNeed, the National College for Teaching and Leadership's research on coaching, the 'Coaching to drive school improvement' course in The Key's CPD Toolkit, and our associate expert Gulshan Kayembe.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a process that can help your staff improve their performance in a particular area – for example, raising pupil engagement in the classroom or line managing more efficiently.


  • Is a way of changing behaviour
  • Has a clear goal
  • Focuses on the present situation, rather than on the distant past or future
  • Can be about correcting problems
  • Is suitable for professionals at all stages in their careers

Is coaching the same as mentoring?

Coaching is similar to peer mentoring, but has some fundamental differences.

See the section ‘Coaching has different goals’ in our other article for a breakdown of the differences and what