Independent School | Board & Senior Leadership Team | Development & Strategy


The client is a successful independent co-ed day school of 1400 pupils operating in a highly competitive market where parents have a wide choice of educational options. Innovation is required to defend against and exploit disruptive digital trends such as the explosion of online education from global providers. Schools are also competing to offer pathways to internationally recognised qualifications and non-university routes to fulfilling careers. Leadership excellence at strategic and operational levels is needed more than ever.


The client need evolved over the 3 years we have been supporting them.

  • Head Teacher. 1-2-1 coaching to help him grow into his high-pressure role, navigate a complex and demanding stakeholder environment, build an effective Senior Leadership Team (SLT), and establish relationships with a largely new Board of Governors.
  • Senior Leadership Team. In the light of turnover and new arrivals, develop mutual understanding and trust, support the co-creation of a team charter (purpose, values, behaviours, vision, ways of working), and shape the team’s development journey.
  • SLT Members. 1-2-1 coaching to help two SLT colleagues identity and fully deploy their strengths on a sustainable, wellness-aware basis.
  • Board of Governors and SLT. Support the Board and SLT to align around a common purpose, updated values, vision, and a strategic roadmap.


Coaching:  We were asked to source experienced senior leadership coaches from outside Education in order to offer fresh perspectives and challenge. Coaches were selected on the basis of a CV sift followed by 1-2-1 “chemistry” meetings with individual members of the SLT. The engagement then progressed in blocks of 4 in-person or Zoom sessions under an agreed coaching framework and code of conduct derived from the International Coaching Federation’s model framework.

Workshops:  We designed and delivered three in-person workshops, two for the SLT of 8 (both workshops involving indoors and outdoors elements), and one combined workshop for the Board and SLT, of 18 total. Design involved pre-event engagement with participants to promote early engagement with workshop inquiry themes, adoption of Appreciative Inquiry (also known as Strengths Based Inquiry) as the core process to elevate delegates’ thinking beyond current problems, and exploration of a range of high performing team and operating frameworks (Lencioni, P; Hawkins, P;  Dignan, A; and IoD Governance Model).


I found it thought provoking on a personal level and a really effective process for us to work through as a team developing a more refined strategic direction. Member of Senior Leadership Team.

You helped us achieve a high level of engagement and debate – a very different experience to previous joint Board/SLT sessions where engagement has been far more limited and the quality of dialogue much diminished. Chair of Board of Governors.

The structure, quality of questioning, and calm way in which you lead the discussions has given us lots to ponder as individuals and a Senior Leadership Team. Head Teacher.