Coaching Pupils: How Coaching Stopped This Year 11 Pupil Cracking Under Pressure

Danielle John tells us her story... [00:13:58]

Coaching helped Danielle go from being TERRIFIED of entering the exam hall (and feeling like she'd have a mental breakdown) to being able to CONFIDENTLY enter the exam room (and feeling like a weight's been lifted off).

Her advice to Headteachers worldwide is:

"You need to learn how to do that because Ms Austin's changed my life. That sounds so cliché again but honestly she has. And I feel like if more people had the training and the expertise to do that to other people then it would just be so fantastic because I'm just 1 person that she's helped and there could be so many more people that feel the way that I feel now."

Danielle also feels that coaching has improved her life in general, her mental health and wellbeing and her relationships with friends and family. "It just makes you a better person."

Huge thanks to Danielle and Ashcroft High School for allowing us to share this story with you.

If you'd like to learn how to coach your pupils effectively, you can get started now at:


Headteacher & NLE shares views on this new way of ‘coaching’ in schools, impact & value for money [Coaching SLT, Teaching & Learning]

Headteacher & NLE Cori Bateman shares how she's used coaching & what difference it's made to her, her school & another school she supported, eg Combined reading, writing & maths from 37% to 64% in 1 Year, less stress and getting people to take responsibility for solving their own problems rather than constantly bringing trivial things to her!

Watch this summary video [3:24] and/or scroll down for the full interview...

Full interview [26:49]

Would you like to learn the skills & strategies we taught Cori?

Click here to get started instantly for as little as £1!


Why you should stop asking “why?”


Let me ask you something...

...How often do you ask your pupils "why" they did or didn't do something? 

If you're anything like most people you'll probably find yourself doing it a lot.  You'll say things like:

  • "Why do you think that?”
  • “Why didn’t you achieve that target?
  • “Why were you late?”

Sound familiar?

I know I used to do it all the time when I was a teacher.

But here's the thing - whether you realise it or not asking "why" tends to make people feel stressed and defensive and can lead to conflict & confrontation.

When you take just 3 minutes 41 seconds to watch this video now you'll discover:

  1. Why asking "why?" is actually very counter-productive
  2. What stupid question my partner asked me when I had a bit of an accident!
  3. A quick actionable tip that will means you'll instantly generate more positive, valuable, and informative responses that will move your coachee forward more effectively.

Watch it now to get your tip, then try it out & notice the difference it makes in your everyday role.

By the way, lots of our schools have dramatically reduced the number of behaviour incidents & got deeper, better answers from pupils (and colleagues!) by implementing this simple strategy.

I know I was surprised at the difference this made in my teaching, my work with challenging young offenders & my personal life, and I'd love to hear what difference it makes to you...

...Do contact me to let me know!

If you enjoyed this post & found it useful, come and learn more with me now! Take a £1 trial of our online training course, and I'll show you the system that's helped hundreds of schools to get better results quickly and easily. And how you can do it too.

I'd love to see you there.

Annie Boate Coaching in schools

- Annie

Annie Boate

Founder of


How Coaching Can Help Save You Money

In today’s economic climate schools are facing some tough decisions.

Traditional approaches to professional development are being re-evaluated in terms of cost-effectiveness and lasting impact.  Senior leaders have realised that it’s not always viable to send someone on a one-day course, and the obvious “cheaper alternative” of whole school INSET simply isn’t going to meet everyone’s needs.

Last week a Headteacher asked me “What can we do to make CPD more effective?

The short answer is . . . “coach!”

Yes - a one-off event can be incredibly inspiring

Yes - they’ll gain some basic knowledge and skills (and hopefully have a nice lunch!)

And yes - they’ll probably go away buzzing with ideas and good intentions.

So I’m not knocking them at all.  One-off events are absolutely brilliant for some things, but the danger is that it becomes a box ticking exercise – the money’s spent and little changes – or it starts with a BANG and then fizzles out.

In fact, research shows that within 24 hours we’ll have forgotten 50-80% of what we’ve learned, and after 30 days we’ll only remember 2-3%.  So what happens?  Reality kicks in and everyday school demands hit us which absorb our time and energy, while the materials gather dust and our good intentions go out of the window!

When money’s tight we cannot afford to let that happen, but the reality is that we simply can’t become experts and change everything forever in a day.

Think about it – we can “google” things to get knowledge quickly and easily, but does that make us an expert?


Does it mean we really “get it” and can do it 100% effectively?


And that means it will have limited impact and be unsustainable.

So what budget-conscious 21st century schools need is a more innovative approach that delivers the maximum possible impact and return on their investment.

Here are some practical tips to help you:

  1. Use 1:1 coaching (instead of one-off events) to provide personalised professional development that meets each individual’s needs & supports them in making changes
  2. Follow up “one-off” training events with a series of coaching sessions to ensure that trainees retain, implement and apply the knowledge effectively
  3. Drip-feed training with a coach approach so that people have a chance to remember, implement and embed their learning

This way, if you invest in the right expert coaching training and tools, you’ll be able to make your CPD far more effective AND get much better return on your investment in terms of impact.  And an added bonus is that you’ll not just be transforming your school forever, you’ll be transforming lives. 

To find out more, check out Case Studies & Results


Summer Review

As we approach the end of the academic year it’s the perfect time to look back our achievements over the past year, and get ready for an even more successful 2015/16.

So I’d like to encourage you to review, plan, make decisions, and actively look for new ways to improve your life, career and school.  And, of course, get your coachee to do the same!

Before the new term, answer these questions:

  1. What are you most pleased with or proud of in this Academic Year?
  2. What do you WANT in your life or career, but don’t currently have?
  3. What do you HAVE in your life or career, but don’t want?
  4. What are the 3 most important things you've learnt in 2014/15?
  5. What could you do even better in 2015/16?
  6. What’s most important for you to focus on in 2015/16?
  7. What is the first step you’re going to take towards this in September?
  8. When exactly will you do it?

Have a FANTASTIC summer break!



Coaching v Mentoring: What Works Best for Pupils to Boost GCSE Grades? [The Great Experiment!]

The Science department at St Bernard’s Catholic High School, Barrow in Furness, couldn’t resist putting coaching to the test!

Read on to find out how this approach compared to mentoring.


If students are coached will they make better progress than if they are mentored?


  • 20 x students (C/D borderline in science)
  • 4 x coaches (trained in the system)
  • 2 x mentors
  • Science IEP
  • Work Booklets
  • Target & Monitoring Sheets
  • AQA Results Analysis


  • 20 students were identified by the Science department to move from E or D grades in their June GCSE Exam to C grades in their January re-sit
  • Students were divided into 2 groups: 11 were coached & 9 were mentored
  • Parents were invited to a meeting where the Head of Department explained the process
  • Science IEPs were given out for Students and Parents to sign
  • Each intervention student was allocated a coach
  • Weekly meetings of 20-40 minutes took place and students were able to request extra meetings if required.


Coached students: 7 out of 11 achieved C grades (63.64%) & the other 4 students all improved their target grades. Confidence increased significantly because they weren’t told what to do, and they began coming up with goals, ideas and action steps on their own. Teacher coaches found this approach far more manageable as it involved less preparation and pressure on them.

Mentored students: 9 should have attended the sessions, but only 6 continued to attend – 3 of these improved to grade C (33.33%), 2 stayed at grade D – but improved overall UMS marks by 25. One improved to a D – UMS marks 59 improved to 218 – but this was because she joined the school late and had sat only one module in the first place.


The coaching approach worked more effectively and was more manageable for staff than mentoring


Congratulations to St Bernard’s Science Department for their remarkable success, and thank you for sharing your results with us. We’d also like to thank and give a special mention to Katie Galvaey who conducted this research task as part of an M.A. in Education




Inclement Weather

In view of the weather forecast, we want to draw your attention to our Last Minute Cancellation Policy:

Please note that a minimum of 24 hours notice is needed for cancellation due to exceptional unforeseen circumstances such as inclement weather or Ofsted inspections. This is as travel usually takes place the preceding day, with accommodation booked and paid for well in advance. If less than 24 hours notice is given there will be a last minute cancellation fee of £250 to reschedule and cover costs incurred or you may choose to forfeit one session of your programme. If less than 6 hours notice is given, a last minute cancellation fee of £550 will apply or you may choose to forfeit one session of your programme.

Should you need to make a Last Minute Cancellation, please call or text your Accredited Trainer's mobile phone as quickly as possible.  If your call goes to voicemail, please leave a message AND send them a text or email to inform them of the situation.

If you have any queries on this or have any concerns that this may be the case please don't hesitate to get in touch.


80% Abandon Resolutions within 7 Days!

Were you one of the millions of people who made a New Year's resolution this year?

The month of January signifies a fresh start.  It's a very busy time of year for a coach as our coachees have exciting new goals, new jobs or new challenges to work on.

For many people, the New Year means it's time to think, time to change, or time to do something differently.  Traditionally, we look back to the past, and - more importantly - we look forward to the coming year.  We reflect on the changes we want to make and resolve to take action to make those changes happen. That's why we make resolutions.

So let me ask you...

...Do YOU want to change or do something differently this year?

If so, don't bother with a New Year's Resolution!  They aren't always good because they're often too general or too unrealistic, which means that people don't achieve them.

  • "I'm going to exercise more"
  • "I'm going to get more organised"
  • "I'm going to have better work life balance"

Whilst we often even begin with great gusto and enthusiasm, just 7 days later 80% of us will have 'cheated' or given up on our resolution and 'failed'!

So what do YOU need to do?

It's EASY!

Set small, daily resolutions which move you towards your goal instead.

Here's how it works:

  1. Set a BIG, clear goal for the year - By 31st December 2015, what exactly do you want to achieve? (Paint a mental picture - what will you see, hear or feel differently when you've achieved it?  Make sure your goal is 100% specific, measurable, achievable and realistic!)
  2. Next, break this down into end of term goals - What point could you get to by the Summer Holiday? What point could you get to by Easter?
  3. Now look at your goal for Easter & break this down even further - What could you have realistically achieved towards this by February half term? What could you have achieved in the next week?
  4. Next, think what's ONE tiny step you could take towards this TODAY?
  5. Create a check in point to hold yourself accountable for today's action - or ask your coach or colleague to hold you accountable! (NOT a friend as they'll probably let you off the hook if you don't do it!)
  6. Do it!
  7. Congratulations - you've achieved your first "daily resolution"!
  8. Let your coach/colleague know that you've done it
  9. Reward yourself for taking your first step
  10. Set another small "daily resolution" for tomorrow so that you keep focused & keep taking baby steps towards your big goal until you finally achieve it!  (Remember to celebrate your achievements along the way & let us know how you're getting on).

If you'd like a coach to hold you accountable, simply login & post your "daily resolution"!



A Tale of Two Coaches… [Coaching SLT – Headteacher & Deputy Head]

THANK YOU to Cori Bateman (Headteacher) & Sarah Pollard (Deputy Headteacher) from Chantry Primary Academy for sharing their Coaching Tale with us.

Cori, Sarah & 11 other Chantry Leaders used coaching to help them make a big difference to their colleagues, friends & families...AND keep the monkeys off their backs!

Key successes for the team include: increasing pupil independence, confidence & enthusiasm, empowering others, reducing confrontation and helping colleagues (at Chantry & other schools) to work even more effectively.


Comments? Log in to share!


Spring Clean Time!


Spring has finally sprung!

It’s one of my favourite times of the year. As the recent snow melts we're beginning to see sunnier skies. Trees bud, flowers bloom, lambs are born and everything coming to life again.


It’s the perfect time for a fresh start and rapid growth.

So how about doing a little professional spring cleaning?

In life there are many things that we "put up with" or "put off":

  • It might be a minor inconvenience like a light bulb that doesn't work or a spider's web on your ceiling.
  • It may be someone else's irritating habit or behaviour.
  • It could be an unfinished job, a messy desk, a lazy colleague, or perhaps even a squeaky office chair!

Got the idea?

It could be pretty much anything really!

The danger of "putting up with" and "putting off" things is that they drain your energy, steal your time & nag away in the back of your mind.

Believe it or not, these little things can dramatically slow down your progress and make other things take far longer to do.

So if you want to make faster progress & put a spring in your step, it's important that you STOP "putting up with" and "putting off" things AND spring clean them from your life.

The question is...

...What sorts of things are YOU "putting up with" or "putting off"?

>> Take 5 minutes to complete this exercise and then enjoy the results!

5 Steps to Spring Clean Your Life

Step 1:
Take 3 minutes to jot down the things that you're putting up with or putting off

Step 2

Circle 1 thing on your list that you will "spring clean" this week

Step 3:

Jot down 1-5 action step(s) you will take to put it right & WHEN (exactly!)

Step 4:
Do what you've said you'll do & cross off each action step when completed

Action will make sure that they're eliminated, but you may even find that some of the things on your list will magically disappear just as a result of completing steps 1-3 of this exercise!

Step 5:
Reward yourself!

Simply repeat the process to eliminate each item from your list & discover new levels of energy & success this Spring.



Happy 2014!

Let's kick off 2014 with a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all of you who helped us spread the coaching magic in 2013.

We're now looking forward to an even more exciting year in 2014 - we hope you are too!

We've been working hard behind the scenes to act on your ideas & develop MP3s, videos & quizzes for you, and make our exclusive online log system even better.

We now have LOTS of exciting things planned for the year ahead, including...

  1. Launching our latest Toolkit today!
  2. Moving the #coachingchallenge to 8:30pm Sundays (To join in, simply follow @schoolcoachguru on twitter OR search "coaching in schools" + like us on facebook!)
  3. Sharing more of YOUR coaching success stories!

...So watch this space!

Happy New Year & Happy Coaching!


Win A Speaker!

This competition is now CLOSED.

Congratulations to the Lucky Winner - Westborough High School

If you didn't win this time, you can still take advantage of a GREAT VALUE talk to enthuse and motivate YOUR young people. CALL 01924 277343 for more details has teamed up with School Speakers to give you the opportunity to win the chance for Young Apprentice Winner Ashleigh Porter-Exley to visit your school and give your students a motivational talk.

To enter your school into the draw for a chance to win this amazing prize, just fill in your details now using the form on the right.

Good Luck!

Full Name (required)

Email (required)

School (required)

Terms & Conditions: Competition ends 31st December 2013.  Winning school must take the Talk between January - July 2014 and cover travel expenses

About Ashleigh...


Ashleigh shows students that it’s ambition combined with drive that gets you places. She was very different to other Apprentice candidates in that she was the only one who went to a normal state school. She is a down-to-earth working class person who has worked incredibly hard to achieve great things, including 14 GCSEs at grade C and above, but regrets not getting her head down sooner. Ashleigh inspires young people to do their best by focusing on where they're going & how much they can achieve with hard work AND the right attitude.

>> See Ashley's Profile

Headteacher's Recommendation


If you'd like to book a GREAT VALUE talk to enthuse and motivate YOUR young people CALL 01924 277343 for more details