Strategic Coaching – Learning To Tell Your Story and Improve Your Impact.

Over a number of months visiting schools to support their improvement, we noticed that even effective headteachers quite often failed to ‘tell the story’ of their school clearly and strategically. When invited to ‘introduce their school’ they focused on the wrong issues, or did not explain recent events. This creates a risk for the new inspections, but it also means other areas of communication may be less effective than they might be……


So we’ve developed a programme of ‘strategic communication’ aimed at helping busy headteachers sharpen their messages and their understanding. The benefits of this are:


  • Headteachers dramatically improve their ability to ‘tell the strategic story’ of their school and this, in turn, improves the setting of priorities
  • A ‘strategic presentation’ is developed which can be used to summarise the key messages to visitors such as Ofsted inspectors
  • The same output can be used to improve discussion with governors and senior staff
  • It forms a helpful means for promoting dialogue with LA advisors, staff of MATs or TSAs etc.
  • The interaction between SEF, school improvement plan, HT reports to governors etc is sharply improved
  • The process sharpens your strategic thinking and helps to clarify priorities, but it also improves your leadership skills


So, how does it work?

  • You send us your SEF, improvement plan and anything else you like in advance
  • We arrive at your school with the level of knowledge an Ofsted inspector might have; your immediate task is then to ‘present’ to us your strategic overview of your school
  • We can provide ‘coaching’ to you about your presentation, helping you to improve its clarity of message, identifying areas that lack coverage etc. This helps you to focus on getting the story of your school right
  • We critically evaluate your SEF, SDP etc in the light of this discussion; we can also look at governors’ minutes and – crucially – the headteacher’s reports to governors
  • If you want the full day package, we can test out these messages with your middle managers and run one of our unique ‘observed group discussions’ with your staff, testing out their understanding of what you say the key messages are!

Why We Can Offer This:

  • Our consultants have more than a decade of experience as an HMI in primary and secondary school inspection and improvement with extensive practical expertise in supporting schools which have been judged inadequate
  • Adrian was the lead author of the key Ofsted publication which informed the ‘requires improvement strategy’, Schools that Stay Satisfactory (2011) and also of the initial materials for all the Ofsted ‘Getting to Good’ seminars
  • Adrian has lead on the analysis of school improvement issues in Ofsted annual reports for the last seven years
  • Adrian has led Ofsted’s work on community cohesion, helped write the first guidance on ‘British Values’ and worked closely with the RSA in discussions over their report Schools with Soul. Ceri Morgan has particular expertise in maths and the more able.
‘Great strides have been made in the quality of leadership and management thinking which has brought about improvements in school documentation and strategies.’

- LA review of a secondary school following intensive strategic coaching from River Education.

Every project is designed individually. Please call or email to discuss your needs and explore how we can help.