Women leading in education: get leadership coaching

We’re asking women teachers to register for leadership coaching.

This guidance was withdrawn on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

Register for coaching

Register your interest in being coached, so we know you are taking part.


We are inviting women teachers at all stages of their career to develop their leadership skills through coaching. Coaching is at no cost to participants.

Our ambition is to have 1,000 aspiring women leaders supported through coaching. The scheme is at no cost to you. 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.

The leadership coaching pledge is one of the measures announced by government to support women in teaching.

This information is for women teachers who would like to get leadership coaching. If you would like to become a coach, please read our information on Women Leading in Education: become a coach.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a one-to-one approach to professional development. It is non-directive and focuses on supporting the individual to find ways to develop their skills. It usually lasts for a short period and focuses on specific skills and goals.


Coaching can:

  • give you flexible support tailored to your needs
  • give you the opportunity to consider your career options
  • enhance your performance and effectiveness
  • help you reflect on how you might behave differently to make greater impact
  • build self-confidence and resilience to find solutions
  • help you achieve your full career potential

What makes a good coach?

The most important thing is to be satisfied that the coach is right for you and will give you the support you need to move forward in your goals.

The coach profile includes details of their professional development, training and experience of coaching. Coaches also use a variety of styles and approaches that may or may not suit you so it is worth checking this area specifically.

Important points to consider are:

  • what outcomes or performance improvements am I looking for?
  • what am I prepared to put in to coaching in order to achieve these outcomes?
  • how will I manage my time and energy to put into practice the changes I identify through coaching?
  • how will I ensure my school and/ friends and family will support me to make the changes I want to?

Structure and length

Coaching should be designed to suit your precise needs in terms of structure, content, style of delivery and overall duration. There is a great deal of flexibility in coaching and it depends on your needs, personal preference and learning style.

Delivery method

Coaching can be face-to-face, email, telephone, video based, digital or a mixture of these. For some people, having the right coach outweighs any geographic obstacles; for others it’s essential to be able to meet face-to-face regularly.

Qualifications and experience of the coach

Check the coach profile for details of their professional development, training and experience of coaching someone like you. Coaches also use a variety of styles and approaches that may or may not suit you so it is worth checking about this area specifically.

The most important thing is to be satisfied that they are right for you and will give you the right support to enable you to move forward in your goals.

Principles of good practice

We ask coaches to sign up to the principles of good practice for coaches so that they:

  • provide a clear outline of the coaching they offer and the extent of their professional expertise
  • explain the nature and limits of confidentiality surrounding the coaching they provide
  • agree the number and length of sessions with participants to achieve their goals
  • work with you to review progress, help you to achieve/refine goals and conclude coaching at the right time
  • provide clear expectations about the review and exit process, so you are able to conclude your coaching appropriately
  • ensure satisfaction with your coaching through monitoring the effectiveness of the coaching process as well as the achievement of agreed outcomes

Find a coach

Once you’ve registered your interest in being coached you should:

  • look through the coaching directory to identify potential coaches
    • the directory lists the details of coaches that have volunteered and can be searched by locality and school phase. Each coach has written a profile which details their coaching experience, style and approach. We suggest that you identify 2 or 3 possible coaches in case your first choice is not available.
    • the directory is updated monthly
  • email the coach directly with your contact information, details of when you’d like the coaching to start and how you hope the coaching will help you on your leadership journey (the coach will aim to respond within 10 working days)
  • discuss your requirements with the coach and agree whether you wish to work together
  • agree a format for your coaching such as through a coaching agreement (MS Word Document, 19.5KB) with the coach and agree coaching session frequency and format (face-to-face, email, telephone, video-based, digital or a mixture of these)


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

You’ll also need to complete our participant 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.

Contact us

Women Leading in Education

Published 9 September 2016