Leadership Coaching in Schools

Leaders in schools have both an exciting and challenging job to do. As a leader you are in a position to influence and shape the school that you are in, to bring to life your philosophy of education and make a difference to childrens’ lives – which is presumably why you joined the teaching profession in the first place.

However school leaders face a particular challenge to deal with a range of issues that go beyond the academic and pastoral welfare of the children in their care. Multiple stakeholders bring different priorities – staff, parents, and governors are all heavily invested in the success of the school and yet have different perspectives that may not always align.

Leadership coaching for school leaders – and aspiring leaders – offers the opportunity to wrestle with the issues that have no right answer, to develop an appropriate leadership style and provides a confidential sounding board for those personal and professional challenges that cannot be shared with colleagues.

Leadership Development

There are many excellent leadership training courses out there. The challenge comes when you are back in the real world trying to apply the learning and the theory for yourself in your school with the particular situations that you face right now. Leadership cannot simply be another academic area of study – it needs to be applied in practice if it is to have any value. It is leadership development, not further training that is required.

This is where coaching comes in – it supports your development as a leader and provides the space to work through challenging issues. Rather than merely teaching leadership models and skills (useful though those are), it is their practical application that makes the difference.

Why me?

Good question!

Ultimately we can’t answer that until we have a conversation about what you are particularly looking for and whether there is a good ‘fit’ between us.

However I offer leadership coaching in schools because I have a strong personal interest in this area together with some relevant practical experience:

  • I have been involved with schools in one way or another for over 20 years
  • I worked as a Finance Director in the charity sector for many years, facing a range of similar issues and with a primary focus on making a difference to the lives of the beneficiaries
  • I have been a school governor
  • I lead the finance team at the National Autistic Society and worked closely with the teams that ran their 6 schools for people with autism
  • I know a number of current Heads and am aware of the challenges and joys of Headship!
  • I have observed first-hand the life of a Head at close quarters – as my wife has been Head of a Prep School for over 10 years
  • With a background as an accountant, I have also been an interim bursar in a Prep School and have first hand experience of school senior management, working alongside a Head and supporting Governors in their role
  • I currently work with the owners and leaders of small businesses who also need to deal with a range of practical business issues that are not their first concern!

So in short I have an awareness, understanding and interest in many of the issues that Heads and school leaders face and, by being one step removed and not immersed in the world of education, I can bring a more objective external perspective, further informed by my work with other sectors.

Contact me for an initial conversation

Engaging Head and Heart

If you’re running a school you need to use your head and your heart. You need to make rational business decisions in the best interests of the school and also ensure that your team is inspired to unlock and develop the potential of your pupils.

My coaching aims to engage both head and heart. On a rational level it is about gaining clarity and focus – what needs to be done and why. On an emotional and intuitive level it is about getting back to what inspires you about teaching, for it is this inspiration that will help provide the energy and enthusiasm that you need to perform well in your job and to inspire others to do the same.

Andy Turnbull

Andy Turnbull Business Coaching & Executive Coaching

Looking for a confidential sounding board?

Support in a new role?

Leadership development for your colleagues?

Help with a strategy review?

Contact me for an initial conversation

Areas Covered

Based in Surrey, I can travel to surrounding areas. However coaching by telephone or Skype may be the more cost effective option.


Challenges of school leadership

How do I transition from a teacher to a manager or leader?

How do I stay connected with the kids?

How do I keep myself inspired?

How do I reconcile the competing demands of pupils, staff, parents and governors?

How can I differentiate my school when local schools have much the same offering?

How do I develop a vision and strategy for the school?

How do I lead change in my school?

How can we continue to deliver excellent education and develop the school for the future with a limited budget?

How do get to grips with the finances, facilities, HR and marketing?

How do I inspire and motivate my team?

How do I cope with the stress and demands of the job?

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