Women Leading in Education: become a coach

We’re asking male and female leaders from all backgrounds to make a voluntary pledge to coach women teachers to become leaders.

This guidance was withdrawn on

The Women Leading in Education coaching pledge and coach directory have moved to the Teaching Schools Council (TSC). You can find out about free coaching or register as a coach at The DfE Leadership Coaching Pledge - Women Leading in Education page on the Teaching Schools Council website.

If you have any questions about the coaching pledge, please email


Apply to become a coach by completing the online coach profile form.

Alternatively, you can download the form in the following formats:

Please include your contact details and your coaching experience, style and approach.

Pledge to coach women teachers in schools

If you’re a leader and want to help more women to become leaders in education, pledge to coach. Coaching has the potential to transform the leadership journey of women teachers.

Coaching has the power to increase confidence, unlock potential and build resilience. It is flexible, bespoke and specific to need.

This is a great opportunity to help more women progress into leadership roles. Pledge to coach is one of the measures announced by government to support women in teaching.

73.8% of all classroom teachers are female; only 62% of headteachers are female. This data comes from the School Workforce in England: November 2015 statistical first release.

Our ambition is to have 1,000 pledges so that 1,000 women aspirant leaders are supported through coaching. We need you to volunteer your time, expertise and passion to make this happen.

We’ll review your profile before adding it to the directory, which will be used by women teachers looking for a coach. They’ll be able to contact you directly to discuss and arrange coaching requirements. Your profile should take about 20 minutes to complete. You’ll need to sign up to the principles of good practice for coaches.

This information is for leaders who would like to become a coach. If you would like to find out how people benefit from coaching or receive coaching yourself, please read our information on Women Leading in Education: get leadership coaching


As a coach, you will:

  • play an important role to increase the number of women leaders in education
  • potentially transform the leadership journey of women teachers
  • have the opportunity to further develop your own leadership skills
  • support women teachers to overcome barriers to their success and achieve their potential

What’s involved

After you’ve submitted your coach profile:

  • we’ll review your profile and may contact you if we require further clarification
  • once approved, we’ll add your coach profile to our coaching directory
  • you’ll need to update us termly on your availability so we can update the directory
  • you’ll work with one teacher at any given time, although you can work with more if you feel you have the capacity and would like to do so
  • women teachers will search the directory and contact you directly by email (you should aim to respond to them within 10 working days to discuss their requirements and agree whether you wish to work together)
  • you may want to use a coaching agreement (MS Word Document, 19.2 KB) to agree coaching session format and frequency (face-to-face, email, telephone, video-based, digital or a mixture of these)


Once the coaching is complete, we suggest you and your participant complete an evaluation (MS Word Document, 20.2 KB). This is confidential between you and your participant.

You’ll also need to complete our coach feedback survey. This will help us to demonstrate that the coaching pledge is making a difference, meeting the needs of women teachers and increasing the number of women leaders in education.

Principles of good practice

Good coaches listen and facilitate objectively, without solving people’s problems for them. The most important skill in coaching is asking questions within a coaching conversation. It is important that you have relevant competence or experience to support the coaching process. You should:

  • provide a clear outline of the coaching you offer and the extent of your professional expertise
  • explain the nature and limits of confidentiality surrounding the coaching you provide
  • agree the number and length of sessions with participants to achieve their goals
  • work with participants to review progress, achieve/refine goals and conclude coaching at the right time
  • provide clear expectations about the review and exit process, so participants are able to conclude their coaching appropriately
  • ensure participants are satisfied with their coaching by monitoring the effectiveness of the coaching process as well as the achievement of agreed outcomes
  • believe in the potential for others to grow and develop
  • focus on achieving positive action and outcomes (either long or short term)
  • be self-aware, confident and have personal presence
  • be competent at working with different attitudes, beliefs and behaviours

Training for coaches

The following training modules are provided free of charge by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) to support your coaching practice:

Mentoring and coaching: core skills course: If you have limited experience of coaching and mentoring, or wish to refresh your skills, this module will give you the knowledge, understanding and skills of mentoring and coaching in an educational context.

Mentoring and coaching: advanced skills course: If you have background knowledge, skills and experience of mentoring and coaching, this module will deepen your knowledge, understanding and skills of mentoring and coaching individuals. It also explores how mentoring and coaching can be applied across a whole organisation or network.


Research into the different approaches to integrating coaching into the school improvement process:

Other resources

Contact us

Women Leading in Education

Published 9 September 2016