We have been lucky enough to be part of the development of a coaching model to deliver a programme of personal empowerment to the heart of our school society. Although a very individualised approach, the essence and long lasting effects of this programme are like ripples of positivity that we have witnessed through noticeable improvements in family and school based life.
We initially identified a cohort of students in year 10 who were not achieving to their full potential academically. The personal barriers to success ranged from internal school based factors, self confidence and external family based issues through to poor attendance issues.
We experienced a high take up from the identified students. They were given the option to participate after a introduction session which was supported by the Vice Principal. The programme lasted for a five week period (50 minutes a week).
The positive experience for all who engaged was apparent and the statistical evidence highlights:
• Of the original cohort 78% decided to proceed with the course after the initial introduction. The average attendance to each session was 72%. We considered this an impressive figure as two students were classified in the persistent non attendees category.
• 85% of the cohort felt that they had a part to play in coaching others and were keen to encourage others to have the same privilege of experiencing the programme.
• Key comments from school staff included identifying increased engagement, attendance and happiness/enjoyment.
• Parents and carers of a number of the cohort outlined an increased confidence and a recognisable shift in the child’s positive involvement in family life.
• 78% of the students identified that the course was a positive experience and recognised changes in themselves that benefitted their lives (school and family).
• We received positive feedback from parents and school staff outlining that 85% of the cohort demonstrated noticeable positive change during the course and beyond.
• The students emphasised their own increase in happiness and positivity; 33% recognised an increase in positive behaviours and are continuing to experience this still.
We at the Academy believe we are at an exciting juncture where we have begun a journey to embed a coaching culture amongst our community and enhance the positivity for our students and families to optimise their full potential.
Mr A Young, Vice Principal Spires Academy
Georgina Saralis Deputy Head of SEN School wrote in a report to her trustees:
I have to say that personally I have been overwhelmed by the response to this course and by the achievements of the individuals taking part. Obviously we would not have embarked on this programme unless we were convinced of its value to the school, but it has more than met my expectations. What we are creating here is open and trusting relationships between parents, teachers and pupils and I had not realised the potential of this until now. We are experiencing the benefits of this already and I feel excited about how this will contribute to our mission of unleashing the potential of our pupils still further.
And for herself:
I had trained with Alan because I was looking for new ways of working with young people who were presenting challenging behaviours in the classroom, whom I knew were struggling with mental or emotional issues, creating barriers to their learning. What I gained was more than just strategies to help my students transform their performance, I also experienced a growth in my own personal development that I know has made me a better teacher, able to connect with young people at a deeper level as well as develop the emotional resilience necessary for effective teaching.
Georgina Saralis, Deputy Head of SEN school
See the School Review Georgina wrote.
The Parent Champion course has more than met our expectations with regard to increasing parental engagement in our school. As well as confirming my belief in encouraging staff as well as parents to experience personal development coaching, to enable us to maximise the potential of our students, it has helped me to realize the importance of developing open and trusting relationships between staff and parents – an additional outcome, though perhaps of secondary benefit but as important, has been that I feel a real difference in my relationship with the parents I was on the course with, we smile more knowingly to each other and I feel a deepening of our partnership in working together.
Sandra Rounthwaite, Teacher
I know that several parents attended the Parent Champion Programme over the last eight weeks and the teachers have been reporting back to me about the changes they have seen in the parents’ relationships with the children and indeed the children themselves. The outcome has been very positive.
I can see the impact your programme is having and feel it is providing a vital service for parents. It is apparent that life is faster paced, often resulting in more stress for some families. The relationship that teachers have with parents has evolved with parents being more open, wanting to share their problems and seeking sources of advice. Parenting has always been a difficult job, never more so than now and so programmes such as yours are greatly needed to positively empower families.
Keep up the good work!
Miss T J Gobell, Headteacher, Bligh Infant School
I stumbled across DYC initially from www.commissioningtoolkit.org where I found the Family Coaching Course. This was the one course, from more than 100 available, that really leapt off the page! Having read the abstract, it addresses the issues that I’m responding to every day here in Jordan and previously in Thailand….. I want to thank you all for sharing a life-changing experience with me in Kent in May. Clearly the week was very different to any preconceived expectations that I may have had. The experience was good for me and it has contributed to some very positive changes in my life, particularly my relationship with me which in turn has had a positive influence on my other relationships.
Spencer Bragg, Head of Primary, International Academy, Amman, Jordan
We spend our lives cramming information into children. This approach is completely different: we are asking the children what they think and want.
Mr DH, Headteacher
Recognising positive qualities in ourselves in turn raises self-esteem for both parents and children. It was rewarding listening to parents celebrate success, recognise their improving parenting skills and acknowledge their own strengths.
Amanda McCartney, Family Liaison Officer, St Michael’s Church of England Junior School
As a result of this very successful Transition project we have recognised with the excellent support and commitment of Alan that this programme has been a very valuable and worthwhile exercise. The aim now is to establish how we as a school can enable all children to gain these life skills rather than wait until they are in year six. The Develop Your Child Programme has enabled us to support our year six pupil’s to look forward to the next phase in their education feeling better equipped emotionally to deal with any challenge that comes their way.
Mrs CJ, Assistant Headteacher
“Having a knowledge of energetic connections has allowed me to communicate with my students on a higher level. By changing my thoughts and feelings I can influence the learning environment to be much more productive and positive. By using Alan’s techniques my lessons are immediately more enjoyable for the students and for myself.”
Ms CW, English Teacher
“We begin to see (in the evaluation), I think a series of messages, which in part show why your programmes are so extraordinarily life-changing and sustainable in families and communities. Of several reported effects from people who have experienced your work, this one I think, summarises the impact. If it was one person so transformed in their thinking and behaviour, this would be a wonderful gift to that family and their community. The fact that so many people’s lives, and that of their families, friends, schools etc. have been positively impacted, is little less than miraculous:
‘My life before I knew about this course was in one word, chaos. I was battling an addiction and was losing. I had lost a partner who had died through his own addiction and was on the verge of losing my son. Because of my behaviour, my son showing signs of, angry, out of control, swearing… he had only just turned three.’
‘My outlook on life and my understanding changed almost immediately. I’ve learned so much about how my children’s’ behaviour starts with me. I have seen a massive change in my son’s behaviour, especially on the days when I use the ‘energy connection’.
‘Recently.. his teacher said.. ‘his usual group of friends became disruptive, he took himself away from them and joined another group of children’ ‘.
‘I have applied to train and volunteer with the local substance misuse centre’.”
Dr McLeod, Visiting Professor of Coaching at Birmingham City Business School at Birmingham City University
“Coaching is the practical tool to deliver strengths based ‘Recovery Model’ type interventions with families and individuals. I am in support of using this approach to families both because of it’s effectiveness and it’s congruence with a person centred approach. From a more systemic perspective because it develops transferable skills it does have the potential for a viral impact. The DofH last year agreed with our proposal to use the Recovery Model to bring about coordinated multi agency direct practice with users of the new multi million pound centres for disabled children opening in Swale, Thanet and Ashford in April.”
Graham Smith, East Kent Area Manager for Disabled Children’s Services, Kent County Council
“I love your whole concept of ‘energetic connection’ and I really like the way you make it so practical and down to earth because it is a little outside what some parents’ experience and it is a great way to introduce them to it. It’s a great introduction and it works really well. I know the idea of connection runs through the whole book and it is a powerful message.
It’s really easy to dip into and every chapter gives me great ideas to help me be the Mum I want to be. It’s also great and inspired that all parents can get ongoing support through the free conference calls.”
Lorraine Thomas, Chief Executive, The Parent Coaching Academy
Author, ‘The 7-Day Parent Coach’, ‘Get A Life’ and ‘The Mummy Coach’
“Hi Alan, You and I had a coaching call about two weeks ago and I wanted to let you know how things were going. (I am the friend of Dorothy’s) First of all, I want to say that I am so disappointed that I will not be meeting you when you come in as I will be traveling that week. I do hope to meet you at some future date!!
After we hung up, I knew something had changed. I was stronger and firmer. For so long I have known what my beliefs are regarding the schools and children. I have known that this is my passion. Yet, I allowed myself to be influenced by others who could not see the same vision as I saw. I now stand true and strong in my vision and make no excuses. I know what I know and that’s it!
Second, I went and met with my local school district and talked to them about offering my knowledge and experience to help parents, teachers and students….and I put it in their language. I told them how I have been studying the different generations in the workforce currently and that generation Xers and the millennials operate differently and expect to be spoken to and treated differently if we really want to connect with them. I told her that I wanted to speak with the teachers about Emotional Intelligence and Coaching skills so that they could better communicate and pull out the best in the students. I told her that since memorization is the least utilized skill once they are out of school, that I could show the teachers ways to help students experientially learn material in a way that would also benefit them when they were in the workforce while the school still maintains their curriculum. (YUK, but I knew I had no chance of changing the curriculum)
I could tell this person was inspired and impressed and she is now making calls to the guidance counselors, the business teachers and is also finding out If I can run a workshop for the teachers.
My husband and sons are treating me differently and I wish I could write about all the miracles that happened in this area as well.
I love your style of coaching and I am excited for the work you are doing. I wish you great success on all levels! I have a feeling we will all come together again as I know we all share the same vision for the children!
Thanks again Alan!!! Love and Blessings, Lynn”
Lynn Cohen, PCC, Executive Coach, Designs To Grow Coaching and Training
“Alan provides an insightful and accessible approach to helping families. Boldly encouraging parents to consider their energy and intuition, he taps into knowledge about how the human brain operates and reminds us that our outlook towards ourselves and others influences our communication – and the communication that we receive back. You can really hear his enthusiasm and having met Alan, I am not surprised to hear about the positive difference his courses are making.”
Rachel Bamber, Brighter Thinking & Head of Assessments, Lead Trainer, NeuroLeadership Group.
Rachel is 1 of the first 6 people in the world to achieve a Post-Graduate Certificate in the Neuroscience of Leadership, currently studying for the Master’s