Coaching can mean slightly different things to different people but I found a good definition of coaching some time ago:

Coaching is…

“a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. To be a successful a coach requires a knowledge and understanding of process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place”

Eric Parsloe, The Manager as Coach and Mentor (1999) page 8.

It is a key management tool helping managers get the most from their teams, boosting employee engagement and developing high performing workplaces. It is not about having all the answers, it’s about helping others to think through their situation

Coaching can take place:

  • -  on the spot – a coaching moment, you don’t wait, you do it there and then. It’s informal and happens regularly – it is when you see/hear/feel something that’s not quite right and offer some immediate challenge
  • -  during planned supervision time
  • -  any other time you are in discussion with someone.

 There are similarities between other management tools such as mentoring, counselling, teaching, guiding as they use similar techniques, but they also have their differences.

Statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage 2017 states…

 3.21. Providers must put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff who have contact with children and families. Effective supervision provides support, coaching and training for the practitioner and promotes the interests of children

3.22. Supervision should provide opportunities for staff to:

  • -  discuss any issues, particularly concerning children’s development or well-being, including child protection concerns
  • -  identify solutions to address issues as they arise
  • -  receive coaching to improve their personal effectiveness

Coaching involves various elements and skills for it to be successful:

1.     Build a coaching culture where practice is transparent

2.     Building good professional rapport with your staff team

3.     Having a good understanding of what quality teaching and learning looks like

4.     Using open-ended questions to challenge practice

5.     Active listening skills

6.     Looking for solutions

7.     Agreeing goals to move practice forward

8.     Closing on a positive

9.     Reviewing progress and holding staff to account for making improvement.

The inspection process…

When judging the effectiveness of the leadership and management, inspectors gather evidence around how well practitioners, trainees and students are monitored, coached, mentored and supported including how well under-performance is tackled (Ofsted, Early years inspection handbook (2018) page 30,31)

Inspectors will do this by observing practice throughout the inspection, noting how staff are supported and challenged and by carrying out joint observations with leaders and managers. Inspectors will also speak to staff and ask them how their professional development is supported at the setting.


If you want to find out more about coaching book onto our latest training session:-

Developing Your Team Through Effective Coaching

Tuesday 29th January, 1-4pm
The Honeywell Centre, Hadfield Street, Oldham, OL8 3BP
£38 per delegate

Audience: Leaders and Managers
Trainer: Denise Hulme

This course is aimed at line managers/room leaders with supervision responsibilities. It will define how coaching can be used to enhance the performance of the staff team

Learning Objectives:

  • -  To understand how Ofsted make judgements on your performance management processes
  • -  To clarify the purpose of coaching and how it supports the delivery of effective supervisions
  • -  To identify practical skills and techniques in facilitating the development of others
  • -  To describe how to challenge practice, give effective feedback and agree actions for improvement

Alternatively, you can email or call Claire on 07495 342 223

We also have an excellent follow on course for practitioners, room leaders and middle managers

Developing Confident and Effective Room Leadership

Tuesday 5th February 1-4pm
The Honeywell Centre, Hadfield Street, Oldham, OL8 3BP
£38 per delegate
Special Offer: Book a place on our Coaching Course and get 20% off our Room Leadership Course when booked together

Email for more details or visit the web page here