Coaching – new to headship

Who is this for?

If you are new to headship, then this is an ideal, if not essential time, to engage in coaching.

Why coaching for this group?

You will have prepared for this job for years, been through a rigorous application process, and may feel ready to take on your first headship.

Most heads report that year 1 is tough, tough, tough. As well as all the new systems, ways of working and new people to get to know, the new head has to get used to being, well, a new head!

Coaching at this time gives new heads the opportunity to explore things. To explore their strengths that they’ll bring to the headship. To explore the challenges that they can foresee in the new role. And to explore their own worries and vulnerabilities.

Most heads will have someone to talk to – a friend, family member, partner, colleague. And a coach gives that extra element of neutral, non-judgemental support, to help new heads through their first steps.

What is the offer?

For new head teachers, we always provide experienced education specialist coaches. That means a coach who holds a coaching qualification, and has either been a school leader or has coached many school leaders.

For new head teachers, we recommend our full programme.

It consists of:

The coach will work to your timescale, generally meeting with you half termly for your coaching session.

How does it work?

This coaching will take place online or face to face, depending on your schools and our coach’s locations.

There are a range of practical options, including:

The temptation for head teachers is to leave this type of professional development work until evenings or weekends, so that they are available during the day for colleagues. For head teachers, we encourage them not to do this!

Coaching can be a vital part of your professional development and support structure, so it merits your daytime diary hours.


Each coaching relationship is different, so the benefits differ from head to head and school to school. These are the benefits we commonly see include:



The Independent Association of Prep Schools has always been keen to support their new heads, to ensure that they settle into their roles well and quickly.

We have been commissioned to provide coaching for all new in post head teachers for their first year in post. Each year between 60 and 80 head teachers are appointed.

And to maximise the benefit for the Association, the majority of coaches providing this coaching are existing IAPS head teachers!  They have all studied with us to be qualified and skilled coaches, and earning an ILM L7 coaching qualification. We train 24 serving IAPS heads every year to earn their ILM L7 coaching qualification”. This is an impressive achievement – each head commits themselves fully to coaching and to their professional development.

The programme is proving to be very successful, with great examples of high quality practice and support given to the new head teachers. Typical comments include: 

“A lifeline!”

“It made all the difference between success and struggling.”

“Incredibly useful and empowering!”

For more information, we have put together a detailed case study, which can be downloaded here.

Download our coaching for new head teachers flyer


And if you aren’t a new head, but are new to senior leadership, much of the above applies to you. We can happily amend our coaching for new head teachers offer, to suit the needs of new SLT members. And we price this accordingly.