The training was offered as part of the development of the IOA role and in order to support the mentoring and coaching of NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) and ECT (Early Career Teachers) in response to the national figures indicating that the proportion of NQTs/ECTs leaving the profession within 5 years of training had increased.
The training was modular in professional groups and began through face-to-face training but had to transition over to virtual training due to the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions on meeting. Each module was interspersed with gap tasks and professional reflections which led to further learning and discussion points.
“I would recommend this project; I definitely think it should be a part of a school’s policy on staff development, training and retention.”
Summary of impact
Staff felt supported and enjoyed “having time for themselves”, “time to focus on their professional learning” and reported that it was positive that is was not tied into performance management and not judged in anyway.
In the first instance I undertook the training to develop and expand on the role of mentor and coach as a school leader. I have always felt that quality mentoring and coaching is a key part to staff retention and quality professional development.
Secondly, I was able to implement a programme of mentoring and coaching for the staff at Morland Primary school. This was following the CURREE programme and adapting it for the needs of the staff being worked with.
Staff who were moving phase or year group were mentored by myself and as NQTs and ECTs joined the school in September 2020, I coached their mentors.
What would we do differently
As the staff being mentored by myself were not NQTs or ECTs the programme needed to be adapted with regards to their professional knowledge, understanding and skills which were more advanced.
Initially, meetings were face to face but these have moved to virtual meetings and continued throughout school closures, lockdowns and allowed for Covid ‘bubbles’ in schools.
This has meant that initial learning goals were reviewed and the needs of the ‘mentee’ or ‘coachee’ were taken into account throughout the process in order to maximise the relevance according to the changing needs.
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