Case Study – Coaching Skills Foundation

UK Public School

Duration of Working relationship: 2015 – ongoing

The stated aims of the programme:

As a result of Linda Butler’s MA in Coaching Dissertation, we approached a leading UK Public school, who were involved in her research project focus groups, asking if they would support the pilot of an Accredited Coaching Foundation Skills Course with the European Mentoring and Coaching Foundation.

The School was looking for ways to support the wellbeing of staff and the first course was delivered alongside courses on Mindfulness and Kinesiology. Living and working in the same environment can cause additional levels of stress and tension, and often make conversations challenging.

The course has become one of many ways in which we have supported wellbeing at the School and enabled them to develop a coaching culture.

One of our main aims when we started to work with the School was to create a sustainable cost-effective programme and coaching culture, so that the organisation would use external coaches and facilitators as and when needed and not all the time. This has been achieved working with the Head of Coaching and Mentoring and the Head of Professional Development.

As a result of attending the Coaching Skills Foundation Course, the School now has a Head of Coaching and Mentoring and a second qualified coach both of whom studied a Diploma of Coaching at the University of Warwick and are supervised by Linda Butler. They now coach the students and staff and are linked to the School’s counselling services.

The first courses at the School were delivered by Linda Butler and Emma Ford, when the Head of Coaching and Mentoring qualified as a coach they then co-delivered with C4C.

Alongside the three cohorts (32 staff members) of our accredited course we have delivered the following to staff:

  • Coaching conversations workshops
  • Coach Supervision for Internal coaches
  • 1:1 coaching • Coaching refresher course
  • Mentor workshops
  • Effective and Courageous Conversations workshop for Heads of Department
  • Seminars for senior pastoral staff.

Coaching Skills Foundation Course – EMCC Accredited

In order to achieve an accredited certificate at the end of the course participants must complete the following:


Coaching Skill Foundation Course

Courses will be held on site

Five 2-hour modules (containing; check-in, theory, practice and check-out).

Workshop outlines:

  1. The coaching conversation; Set up/contracting, purpose and outcome, silent coaching, Introduction to GROW and EMCC code of Ethics – practice work
  2. Questioning, listening & GROW – practice work
  3. Use of MBTI self-assessment tool to raise awareness on personality preferences and how this can enhance and support conversations
  4. Difficult conversations and how coaching can support them, Introducing Tools – TA (Transactional Analysis), Empty Chair
  5. Final session to review coaching development, experience and open discussion with trio practice and observation against course criteria
  • Participants to work with 2 practice clients between modules
  • Keep a learning log to record experiences. Utilise information in modules and/within Mentoring/Supervision
  • Access to short, recorded webinars as a recap on the coaching subjects covered in the course
  • A Mentoring/Supervision session between each workshop for each participant, with an Executive coach
  • C4C will provide Coaching Portfolio/workbook to collect information from each module, reading lists, models, reflections and actions

Learning outcomes

By the end of the coaching skills training participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of ideas, tools and frameworks relevant to coaching and mentoring conversations.
  2. Critically consider some of the key ethical and practical issues in coaching and mentoring conversations (e.g., confidentiality, managing boundaries)
  3. Develop key coaching skills, such as listening, questioning and playing back.
  4. Understand how the relationship between coach or mentor and client evolves over time.
  5. Set appropriate ground rules and boundaries to support coaching and mentoring relationships.
  6. Explore personal approach to coaching or mentoring conversations which take into account the context within which you operate and the needs of those you work with.
  7. Work more effectively with others.

Accreditation of the course by European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC) – Foundation:

a) This programme level is aimed at those who wish to gain an understanding of coaching/mentoring practice and to have the core skills.

b) Likely to be working with others using coaching/mentoring conversations to support and encourage.

c) Development of skills/performance.

d) Use of coaching/mentoring approach within own field/role and clearly understand how their coach/mentor role integrates with their role.


In order to complete the course and receive a certificate accredited by the EMCC, participants are observed in the final workshop by experienced executive coaches who observe and complete a feedback form against the accreditation criteria, this feedback is shared with the participants. After every course, participants are asked to complete a feedback form. The feedback is compiled as follows and shared with the School; and in 2019 we commissioned an Impact Assessment Report, covering all aspects of our work at the School.

Coaching Skills Foundation Course – Workshop 5

Feedback from Course Participants

Participant primary objectives for Workshop 5 were:
• To increase my confidence surrounding coaching
• To practice GROW in context of coaching conversation
• To give my best shot at coaching with all I have learnt in the last 4 sessions
• Coaching Assessment!
• To practice coaching and improve
• Insight for the appraisal process and to learn more skills
• Get over fear when being observed
• Learn more about my approach
• Feedback on my coaching
• Act as observer & learn from that experience
• Do come more coaching

Comments from participants on how useful they found the Observed Coaching session were:
• Very useful, the feedback was valuable
• Very useful to reflect on how I coach as it is not something that I consider very often
• Really useful, really good to have constructive feedback that I can improve on
• Excellent, very helpful
• The feedback was positive and affirming whilst also providing some points of reflection
• Very useful and great feedback on contracting and positive offerings. Useful points to pick up on in my work
• Good to get another perspective
• Was useful to be coached on an issue on my mind
• Very useful to see techniques deployed in real time
• Very useful, enjoyed the experience and encouraged me to reflect on my own practice
• Very, both for my own issue but also for the practice and feedback

Ratings of the following categories (% of participants that responded)

Presentation of ideas and concepts:   Excellent = 91% Good = 9%

Speed and pace of workshop:  Excellent = 91% Good = 9%

Content:   Excellent = 73% Good = 27%

Facilitators knowledge of subject matter:   Excellent = 100%

Ability to deal effectively with questions:   Excellent = 100%


Participants knowledge of Solution Focused Coaching:

  1. before the workshop:   65% = Poor; 27% = Average; 9% = Good
  2. after the workshop:   82% = Good, 18% = Excellent

Everyone had increased their knowledge.


Do the participants feel able to use what you have learnt from the workshops?

Everyone fed back that they are able and confident to use the skills and knowledge they have learned in this course – a great success.


General comments on the course included:

  • please get this into teacher induction x3
  • so good to use, would like to explore further
  • be excellent to include this in teacher induction
  • more time for the workshops to have more practice time
  • really enjoyed it – more than I thought I would, thank you
  • I enjoyed all the workshops, really useful
  • Loved it
  • A very helpful and useful course (from everyone)
  • Incredibly useful and skills that I feel I can use.

If you would like further information, please contact Emma Ford ( or Linda Butler (