How education leaders are building resilience & wellbeing with coaching

Case study: Know You More and Education Scotland

Wellbeing & leadership coaching
Internal & external coaches
People supported
In 2020, the Covid-19 Education Recovery Group (CERG) approved a package of additional professional learning support for education staff across a range of areas within the education sector. This Scottish Government-funded package and its contents were developed in a partnership between the Scottish Government, Education Scotland, and GTC Scotland, with Know You More selected as the coaching delivery partner.

The challenge

Education Scotland found that the wellbeing concerns of education practitioners had dramatically increased during the pandemic. To address these challenges and provide practitioners with tools to prioritise their own and their team's wellbeing, a suite of coaching services was put in place. In addition to supporting staff in navigating the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic, the coaching provision was devised as part of a more rounded coaching approach that would become embedded as a best-practice model. Following its popularity between 2020 and 2022, the delivery partnership between Education Scotland and Know You More has been extended to further support the development of staff in education. Whilst maintaining a focus on wellbeing, the coaching scope has been expanded to support practitioners with a wider range of development areas, such as leadership, resilience, change management, and work-life balance.

Staff groups supported include:
  • Headteachers
  • Deputes and Teachers with pastoral care and child protection responsibilities
  • Early Learning and Childcare Centre Managers
  • CLD Managers

Our approach to designing the coaching programmes

Know You More designed the coaching suite in close collaboration with Education Scotland, providing a hosting, matching and provision management solution. We focused on creating a flexible and accessible development experience that could benefit professionals across different areas and career stages within the education sector, thanks to its hyper-personalised approach.

As the selected service provider, Know You More was tasked with:

Delivering up to 1500 hours of one-to-one coaching (then extended to include a group programme) to education staff, via our online platform.

Providing a matching process to ensure each coachee could work with the most suitable of our 200+ accredited coaches.

Assembling, hosting and supporting a diverse panel of internal and external coaches for the programme delivery.

Measuring the impact and evaluating each coaching relationship, providing high-level reports on development themes, before/after evaluations and utilisation data.

We designed a five-step solution to ensure all requirements were met and exceeded:

1 - We created a tailored programme, in collaboration with Education Scotland, to discuss and agree on the target groups, along with key coaching programme requirements, for example, building resilience; health and wellbeing and work-life balance.

2 – We gained a better understanding of Education Scotland’s fundamental values, mission and culture, including an empowered education system. In doing so, we identified integration opportunities between coaching and the culture Education Scotland is striving to build.

3 – We planned the end-to-end delivery and any support marketing and communication activities to ensure the greatest reach nationally within the Scottish education sector.

4 – We supported the education workforce through sign-up, onboarding, matching, scheduling and coaching delivery, providing complementary resources to ensure the success of each coaching relationship.

5 – We reported key data monthly, breaking down to the total amount of coaching sessions provided, including the Sector (School, CLD or ELCC) and Local Authority area. We also shared our updates on the amount of completed coaching contracting relationships, as well as anonymised evaluation metrics and testimonials from completed coaching contracted relationships.

Our evaluation data shows that the 1000+ hours of coaching we delivered have had a considerable impact in equipping education practitioners better to navigate the challenges and opportunities of their field. Over 900 practitioners across the sector have signed up for coaching. Of those, 96% said they would highly recommend coaching to a friend or colleague.

The results

Average coachee Net Promoter Score
Before/After Scores
How confident are you in being able to manage your own health and wellbeing at this time?
Before/After Scores
How would you score your confidence in managing challenges and opportunities in the current context?

What they said...

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Education Scotland

Education Scotland 4

Ideally, it would be fantastic if every practitioner had the opportunity to be coached or to coach. We need to build that capacity within the system.

Louise Sanders, Lead specialist for professional learning and leadership at Education Scotland

Education Scotland

Education Scotland 3

By better managing my own workload and work-life balance, I have been more effective when working with and supporting the young people in my care.

Education Scotland coacheee

Education Scotland

Education Scotland 2

It just gives them that time and space in which to think – beyond the incredibly challenging situation we’re currently living in. The coaching sessions might address a professional matter – for a headteacher it may be the direction of their school, for example. Or they might have a personal issue they want to talk about.

Louise Sanders, Lead specialist for professional learning and leadership at Education Scotland

Education Scotland

Education Scotland 1

This has been a real lifeline for me. I would highly recommend that every manager access this service.

Education Scotland coachee
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