(Up to 60 minutes)

Explore how to use coaching as an intervention to maximise potential

In this module you will:

  • reflect and clarify what coaching is

  • identify the key skills of coaching

  • plan how coaching could be used to either maximise your potential or that of a colleague


(15-20 minutes)

Please read the notes below and look at the brief video clips.

Coaching and mentoring can be effective approaches to developing staff but they are just two of a range of interventions that can be used to meet identified learning and development needs.

The aims of providing workplace coaching and mentoring programmes include

  1. Assisting performance management

  1. Supporting self-directed learning and development

  1. Preparing and supporting people through change

  1. Sharing curated resources

What is difference between coaching and mentoring? (ref CIPD)

A coach is someone who provides guidance to a client on their goals and helps them reach their full potential. The process typically lasts for a defined period

A mentor is someone who shares their knowledge, skills and/or experience, to help another to develop and grow. One key distinction is that mentoring relationships tend to be longer term than coaching arrangements


There are two main types of coaching

  1. ‘Facilitative coaching’ where a coach will use questioning to draw out the expertise within the coachee, empowering them to make their own decisions about their next steps. In this model, the expertise required to know the best course of action is understood to be already held by the coachee and therefore the role of coach may require less context-specific expertise. This type of coaching is particularly common in education for those in leadership roles, for example, and may be less appropriate for early career teachers who are still developing their knowledge and expertise.

  1. ‘Instructional coaching’ is where the teacher will be observed practising by the coach and provided with specific and detailed feedback. This approach has gained traction across the education sector, partly because research suggests that that it can have an impact on teacher practice in a way that subsequently influences pupil attainment. In this type of relationship, the coach requires expert knowledge of teaching in order to be able to provide useful, targeted feedback


Mentoring tends to describe a relationship in which a more experienced colleague shares their greater knowledge to support the development of a less experienced staff member and calls on the skills of questioning, listening, clarifying and reframing that are also associated with coaching. . An effective mentoring relationship is a learning opportunity for both participants, encouraging sharing and learning across generations and/or between roles.


(15 minutes)

Reflect on your own experience of coaching and mentoring.

  • Do you think that coaching is more about asking questions and mentoring more about giving answers?

  • Can you think of opportunities suitable for facilitative coaching and opportunities for instructional coaching?

  • If you have had experience of coaching or mentoring how beneficial was the process? Was there training for either party?


(20 minutes)

Think about how planned coaching sessions could be used in your school.

  • What is the area that I would be best placed as a coach?

  • What training would I need?

  • Who would I be coaching?

  • What would the GROW be?

  • In what area could I benefit from coaching?

  • Who would be coaching me?

  • How would we get this started?

Further Reading and Support Materials