Why Academic Performance Coaching?

By Robin Chu, founder of CoachBright.

The most common question I get asked when visiting teachers, senior leadership teams and university staff is ‘Why academic performance coaching?’ ‘How will it help our pupils?’ Often, the term itself gets muddled and mixed in with its cousins mentoring, tutoring and therapy, when it is a very different type of intervention.

At CoachBright, we use the Association for Coaching’s definition – "A collaborative solution-focused, results-orientated process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of work performance, self-directed learning and personal growth of the coachee."  

Founding CoachBright, I wanted to take this technique, which is often used in the boardroom into the classroom where we need it the most.

Our most disadvantaged students still abjectly fail to fulfil their potential compared to their wealthier peers. Only 2% of children on free school meals (FSM) go on to a highly selective university. This means, longer-term, pupils from independent schools are over-represented in our country’s elite professions. For instance, over 70% of high court judges and 54% of journalists are from fee-paying schools.

As a result, at CoachBright, we exist to change this so every pupil regardless of background can become independent and resilient learners so they can lead the life they want.

We have created a unique programme called academic performance coaching blending techniques in the world of business (360 feedback and the GROW model) alongside crucial work in educational research (Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset and John Hattie’s pupil expectations) to improve 3 factors for our pupils so they can win places at top universities:

  • Grades – get the results needed.
  • Confidence – have the belief to push further.
  • Expectations – objectively understand what it takes day-to-day to get the top positions.

We achieve this by using all the facets of coaching: skilful listening, curious questioning and sharing insight without judgement. That way we can help create a powerful process of self-awareness where the coachee makes pragmatic day-to-day behavioural changes that benefits their education and attainment levels.

While new to the field of education, this style of coaching is well known in the worlds of executive business and elite sport. The BBC, McKinsey and Team Sky of cycling fame are just a few who have coaches working with their ‘top talent’.  The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the leading HR institution also cites coaching as its best development tool for accelerating performance.

The BBC has over 500 coaching programmes run a year with the corporation having 85 internal professional coaches available focused on their senior management team.

For us, we believe academic performance coaching can be a real game-changer for our most disadvantaged pupils. It can accelerate performance for those that need it most. We would love you to join us on our journey.

If you wanted to learn more, feel free to email me on robin@coachbright.org or share support via twitter @CoachBrightUK

Originally posted on Linkedin here.