The course has been designed to run for four terms so that it goes beyond an academic year. This ensures that at the end you will be able to see emerging signs of impact. This is also why the programme has been created in such a way as to enable you to have the option of blending the learning with leadership coaching from Andrew for the duration of the course.
The programme consists of two levels - the basic entry level and coaching. The entry level starts in the lobby. Next, there are the two coaching sub levels - group or individual - that enable your learning to be taken to a greater depth. This is where the magic happens. This is also what makes the course unique.
It also means we can tailor the coaching to suit your experience. This is important if you are an established leader or headteacher who wants to embed the learning even deeper, perhaps across a number of schools even.
The lobby consists of 8x pre-recorded self-paced modules across four terms. At the start of each half-term a new module is released for you to watch. You will also have access to a carefully curated library of interesting materials - research summaries, book extracts, blogs etc. to complement and extend your thinking and curiosity.
Each module consists of clips from the films from Myatt & Co that Mary and I then dissect, debate and discuss. You will receive 5x annual subscriptions to over 500 films on the platform for you to share at school (worth over £300).
At the end of each module there is a live webinar where Mary and I discuss the key issues and challenges that leaders face in regard to the module themes (such as collaboration, trust etc.). As helpful as they will be, these sessions are likely to be more powerful for those who have selected the coaching options.
This is because the coaching will have allowed you to apply your new leadership knowledge and behaviours in your role. It will give you greater insight. You will know not only what to 'do' as a leader, but more importantly, how it 'feels' to lead.
The coaching adds significant value in that it provides you with a safe, non-judgmental and confidential space to apply your learning and practice getting better at it. Research tells us that this is one of the best ways of improving a new skill so that it becomes a habit.
For example, in Module 2 (Leading Authentically) we explore ASCLs Ethical Leadership Framework. During the coaching sessions, you will be able to unpack this further and practice developing your leadership skills in regard to one of the behaviours.
In Module 4 (Leading Carefully), we take a look at the Nine Dimensions of Leadership from the NHS Healthcare Leadership Model. Andrew, as coach, will help you identify one of these to work on back in school, such as 'holding others to account' or 'engaging the team.' The point is, you decide.
Group coaching works slightly differently to individual one-to-one (121) coaching. In the group sessions, you will be with your school partner along with three other leadership pairs from other schools. This means that together you can work collaboratively on a persistent problem relevant to the course content - such as how to hold others to account though radical candor. Each session will require us to identify an agreed goal that you want to work on back in school, based on the course. We use the GROW model, to explore options and the 'action step'. More on the action step to come.
121 coaching ensures that the direction of travel always comes from you. We start by analysing your current context, circumstance, and needs. This is important because it is likely to be very different if you are a headteacher, for example. In between each of the eight sessions you will then work towards achieving your goal by practicing the new skills and behaviours based on the knowledge from the course. A typical example of a goal might be, 'to improve levels of relational trust in my team so that it becomes more effective.' We'll define what effectiveness looks like, along with milestones, and then throughout the half-termly coaching sessions answer the following 3 questions:
1. Where am I going? = Feed up (descriptively)
2. How am I doing? = Feed back (evaluatively)
3. Where to next? = Feed forward (accurately)
Although feeding up and back tend to focus on current performance, feeding forward looks ahead and encourages the consideration of potential options. Feeding forward is always the main focus. This is where the action step comes in.
Based on the work of Deans for Impact (2017), we use their Practice with Purpose model based on the latest research on the science of teacher expertise. This requires the coachee to identify explicitly an area for improvement, and then - though feedback - commit to practicing at getting better at it in a meaningful way.
This is where your fellow Lobby colleague can really help you, through peer support and critical feedback. Having a coach also holds you to account through support and challenge. (The basic level course is for two people, remember, so that you can support each other back at school.)
(From: Deans for Impact (2017) Practice with Purpose: The Emerging Science of Teacher Expertise.)
For the 121 package, you will be encouraged to complete a simple ongoing coaching development record that focusses on the impact of your leadership behaviours. This acts as great evidence for appraisal and your commitment to professional development. It will also help you become a more reflective practitioner.
Think of the coaching record as an onion. There are three layers to it (it's a small onion). The outer layer is the impact of your leadership behaviours in terms of how you feel (such as greater resilience). The middle layer is the impact your actions have on the behaviour of the adults you lead in terms of the things you do (greater team engagement). The inner layer - the core - answers the question 'so what? In other words, impact. So here we look at the change in pupil learning behaviours in terms of improved outcomes as a result of the adults changing their leadership behaviours. As always, this starts and ends with you.
This is why the course runs over four terms to allow time for impact to begin to emerge. This is also why the base level (Lobby) is essential as it's here you'll learn about the things you need to know about.
You can find out more details about the course here, including booking your place. There are only a finite number of coaching slots available, and places are strictly limited, so first come, first served.
You can buy the book that underpins the coaching sessions here (Andrew’s four-part authentic leader model).
(We won't bother with a link to Mary's books, such as High Challenge, Low Threat, and Hopeful Schools, as no doubt you've already read them ;)