Ambition launches new instructional coaching programme

April 13, 2021

Book your place now

Ambition Institute has launched a new programme on instructional coaching.

The three-month programme starts in May 2021 and is for experienced teachers and leaders who can influence teaching and learning across their school or trust.

What is instructional coaching?

Instructional coaching involves a more expert teacher helping another teacher to develop their practice with individual classroom-based observational feedback. They focus on bite-sized pieces of feedback and provide specific steps that the teacher can take to develop their expertise over time.

There is now a significant evidence base to show that instructional coaching has a substantial impact on teacher development. For example, in randomised control trials of different professional development techniques, instructional coaching principles saw the greatest impact on informing teaching behaviours and improving pupil attainment.

Evidence suggests that this coaching style is highly effective because it provides feedback that is personalised and tailored to the individual teacher. The teacher can improve their practice straight away because their coach provides feedback that is specific and action-based.

Nick Pointer, Ambition Institute Tutor and leader of our new instructional coaching programme, said: “This form of coaching works so well because it brings a developmental approach to teacher improvement.

"As a coach, there's nothing better than watching a teacher improve by putting specific, tailored feedback into action.

"As a teacher, getting focused themes to work on is much more fulfilling than having infrequent lesson observations. Directive, supportive feedback from a coach helps build confidence and expertise over time. It supports widespread impact on pupils’ learning and, ultimately, their outcomes.”

Our new programme

Our instructional coaching programme will give many teachers and school leaders their first detailed look at the mechanisms behind this style of professional development.

Working with a coach, teachers identify an area of their teaching practice to improve. The coach then guides them in a step-by-step process to overcome existing, ingrained habits and develop new behaviours.

By the end of this programme, participants will have benefited from one-to-one coaching and gained skills to practise instructional coaching themselves. Doing so will help improve the overall standard of teaching across their school or trust.

Using our expertise

The coaches on our instructional coaching programme have significant experience in this style of development.

Many of our programmes – including the DfE-funded Early Career Teachers, Transforming Teaching and Teacher Education Fellows – have this principle embedded in their curricula.

Our learning design teams and tutors bring a wealth of experience in this area, having taught and used instructional coaching in countless school settings.

Find out more on our Instructional Coaching programme page.