Coach for School Improvement, a finalist in the East of England’s Best Rural Education or Training Business category, advocates and supports the importance of investing in the everyday rural role model: the teacher.

Teachers are a backbone and a life force of our rural communities. Teachers inspire children every day to value their environment, their relationships, their community. Coach for School Improvement supports these vital contributions made by those serving our rural communities; those who are helping our next generations care for their surroundings. We need to value them and nurture them and challenge them co-constructively.

So what exactly is coaching?

Coaching is regular, professional and structured talk.  It allows staff, teaching and wider educational staff to reflect and examine their own practice and with an experienced and external coach allows them to make themselves more effective to their own agenda. This is what I do.

Returning to Norfolk in 2012 from London, I founded Coach for School Improvement to fit around the need to take my three boys to school. It needed to fit around the school run and so self-employment was the only path.

However, Rural Business is a lonely path. Founding and establishing and then growing a business to support a rural existence is perhaps not as easy as it used to be. Retail is on a downward trend. Professional services and meaningful connections are on the up.

Being nominated for this award, sponsored by Amazon, has the immense ability to help grow this business; by offering a badge of credibility, to pique further interest, to validate my work. But most importantly it triumphs the everyday of the teacher. It sends a message that rural schools can be as relevant and dynamic as the lure of the urban and it supports the structure for teachers from all areas to connect with and learn from each other. It values them. And, from a business perspective, the supposed 20% + increase in productivity for being valued for who you are, in addition to what you do, cannot be disregarded.

I have worked with over 50 Norfolk Schools and this continues to grow with the advent of a new website subscription service for teachers and for this academic year, Norfolk Headteachers will be accessing much needed Group Supervision to enable them as a group to enhance their group efficacy.  

“The opportunity to scale up my business when my youngest son started school has meant that I continue to coach school staff on the things that really matter: how to continuously improve the teaching and learning for the students in rural Norfolk schools, something I feel passionate about. The hardest part of being a business being borne from a rural economy is that linking up with other businesses and being connected to others is a hard and constant task. Being recognised by awards such as this, is immensely important. Working dynamically and in tandem with others is the only way to sustain the rural economy.”

Mary-Jo Hill

Coach For School Improvement

For more information on Coach for School Improvement, head to www.coachforschoolimprovement.co.uk  

The Best Rural Education or Training Business award will not be running in the 2019-20 awards year. However, there are lots of other categories to enter, like the Best Rural Professional Services Business Award! To find out more click here.

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