Cathy Herrington (MFL Subject Leader), Ashcroft High School

[Coaching for School Leaders] New Subject Leader Improves Teaching, Behaviour & Confidence Across Department

New Subject Leader Uses Coaching to Improve Teaching, Behaviour & Confidence Across Department

Discover how Cathy went from feeling ‘overwhelmed’ to doing an AMAZING job as a new leader.

“People came to me and said, “Wow, he’s improved so much!”

When Cathy was first promoted to a Subject Leader, she knew she had a BIG job to do! So when she was told she was going to be on the Coachinginschools Coaching Programme, she initially felt like it would be too much to take on!

And ironically, it’s because people feel overwhelmed and want do a great job that they really need this training!

Now if you know Cathy, you’ll know she’s the kind of person EVERY school needs! She’s 100% committed to doing her job as well as she possibly can – and continuously strives to become the best teacher and leader she can be – so she gave it a go!

She quickly realised how powerful the coaching in schools system is, so she applied it to everything!

As a result she grew tremendously as a Subject Leader, and dramatically improved TALP (teaching & assessment, learning & progress). She also helped an apprentice improve his punctuality and classroom management.

Cathy’s colleagues also noticed the difference! They praised Cathy’s work saying, “Wow, he’s improved so much!” Colleagues that she line managed became far more motivated, confident and empowered. And as a result of Cathy’s coaching there was a direct impact on student achievements and grades.

Cathy is a fantastic example to all school leaders – particularly those who are new to role and feel like they’re “too busy” to learn the Coachinginschools system!

Of course, Cathy could have found excuses (or ‘reasons’!) not to do it, but instead she found a way – and capitalised on the benefits the Coachinginschools training brought her both as a leader and a teacher.

Cathy is an inspiration. And if she can do it, then so can you!

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Case Study Transcript

My Coaching journey.

In September. I had a new role as Subject Leader for MFL and of course for me, I had never been a Subject Leader before. So it was “Wow!”, You know, “This is already overwhelming!”


So when I realised that I was put onto the [Coachinginschools] Coaching Programme, I thought, “I can’t do this! …I can’t!”, you know. I just felt, I’m going to crumble under the load. So I was a little bit, “Oh!” …And I did try to get out of it! I have to be honest, I did say, “Please can I do that another time when I am into my, you know, happy in my [role]”.


And actually they said, “Well, just give it a try and let’s see how you feel!”

So when I started my first… when I came here for a second time, I actually thought, “Wow! This is amazing! This is actually amazing because I can use it for myself as a Subject Leader.”


And what happened was – when I was being coached by Dawn – it actually helped me grow as a Subject Leader. And the things that I’ve achieved is thanks to the coaching because without it, I don’t think I would be where I am now.


So for me, personally, it has worked tremendously.


And it has worked in ways of improving T.A.L.P. (Teaching & Learning, Assessment & Progress), improving also achievements.


And not only just that, but also within my faculty. It has been such a powerful tool.


And the way that I’ve used it as a coach, I had an apprentice just starting in September. And this apprentice, had never been in a classroom before and was given a timetable. So it was really, you know, throwing him in the deep end. And I did feel for him and I said, “Look, I am not a coach yet, but I need a ‘guinea pig’!


So he said, “Yes, use me as a guinea pig!” And actually he so enjoyed it because it helped him with his, um, timekeeping because he was always late. So people were complaining because the students were waiting at the door, and so on and so forth.

So I thought, well, okay, there’s just, you know, let’s just tackle that. And um, he actually did it! And now he’s on time. He’s here at 7, and that was, I think thanks to the, to the coaching.


And the same with his classroom management. It was amazing because when he first started, and then not being in the classroom, and being thrown in a school like ours, and you know, you can imagine how difficult that was.


And with the coaching, it actually empowered him. And he came up with different options and actually people came to me and said, “Wow, he’s improved so much!”


And I just thought, “Could that be the coaching?”


And indeed it was the coaching. And he was so happy that, you know, I had time for him that he actually came and say, “Oh, can we just have a review session?” You know, “Let’s have this review session to see where I am.” And we did that last Friday. And I think he’s really enjoyed being coached as well.


So for me this is a really powerful tool that I will be using from now on.


And I’ve got two members of staff have started in January, and already I’ve made arrangements to start coaching them. And my apprentice is so much confident now, and you can see even the way he is, the way he walks, the way you know, is just so much more confident.


And the thing that, you know, he has taken on from that is: Well I can do it!”


And through the “I can do it”, he’s less stressed.


And you can see even on his face, he’s not so stressed than having the whole world on his shoulder.


So yeah, this is something that I will be working with. Thank you.


-In a nutshell, how would you sum up the programme?


Oh, it’s just brilliant! Very good!


It’s actually empowered me to empower the people as well, so it’s worked for me, and for others!


-Oh well done, Cathy. Thank you.


Thank you.