Cori Bateman (Headteacher), Chantry Primary Academy

Coaching Reduces Problems, Increases Independence & Almost Doubles Results!



[Coaching for Headteachers] Interview Transcript (short version)

[Interviewer] Obviously you’ve applied it in loads of different ways, so if somebody’s thinking of doing the programme what would you say to them?

I’d say do it! I’d say I think it will change the way you work, it’ll change the way you think, it’ll change the way you troubleshoot and problem solve for yourself. Because you almost have an internal coaching conversation with yourself. With my coaching partner I can go back and say “Right, can you just help me out with this?” and then she’ll go straight to approach your model to support me in that.

So yeah I’d say, I’d say do it because it will have an impact on and your organisation – whatever type of organisation that might be. I can’t see that there would be any work environment dealing with adults or children – adults in particular – that coaching wouldn’t have a positive impact on.

Because I just think that there’s a big dependence of staff sometimes on somebody else to come up with the answers. They don’t want to take the responsibility because it is a bit of “I don’t get paid enough for making the decisions. You get paid to make the decisions – you make the decisions!”

And there’s now I’m not getting paid for making the decisions, I’m getting paid for helping other people to make the decisions with me, or for me, or for themselves in fact.

[Interviewer] That’s really good really good. With what you said about ‘paid’ and stuff, one thing sometimes people say is “Oh well what about the money? It’s quite expensive,” and so on.

What would you say someone’s a bit worried about the investment for the coaching?

Well I think money’s an interesting one isn’t it? I always think that if something’s too…you get what you pay for. If something’s surprisingly cheap it’s not necessarily the best quality, so I think it’s about value for money.

So for me I have to add up how many man hours I’ve saved (or not) answering peoples’ queries, and not carrying their monkeys. And can I put a value on the benefits that it’s had in staff in terms of their improvements – their self-improvement in their teaching.

I can’t put a price on it, so in terms of value for money I think for an organisation like us it was very good value for money.

It’s had a fantastic output if you like, because the outcomes me that we’ve improved, our teachers have improved, and therefore everything with children is improved.

So if I’ve got a stronger leadership team, a stronger team of teachers, and stronger group of children then it could have cost twice as much and it would have been worth it.

[Interviewer] I’ll remember that, thank you

(both laughing)

So last question then – if you could sum up the [Coachinginschools] programme in three words, what would they be?

Come on, I really hate 3 words!

(both laughing)

[Interviewer] You can do one sentence if you like.

I think it was ‘challenging’ to start with. I found it particularly challenging because I almost didn’t want to give up my directorship if you like – answering everyone’s queries, so it was challenging.

Once I got over myself a bit I found it then ’empowering’, and felt that “Oh actually there’s more power in helping people to do things for themselves.” That’s more important than me feeling I was in control of everything, so I like the empowering part.

And then it’s ‘rewarding’ because it’s nice to see those people now making their own decisions – and not feeling that they have to kind of check everything out with me all the time.

So yeah – challenging, empowering, rewarding.

[Interviewer] Love it – thank you