Mentoring and coaching have real potential for staff development in schools and education authorities. While mentoring is a long-term commitment to a colleague's development, coaching focuses in the short term on a single or set of goals.
Some 30-40 teachers, headteachers, local authority staff, Scottish Executive Education Department staff and business and voluntary organisations met recently in Dunblane and agreed to disseminate more information on new developments in this field.
This is likely to include case studies, current thinking and examples of how each approach is used in various settings.
The Scottish Executive is considering setting up a pilot programme, "Headteacher as Coach".
The programme would run in partnership with local authorities and it is understood that SEED is in discussion with the Scottish Leadership Foundation. This independent, not-for-profit, membership-based company teaches public service leaders the skills to meet the demands of "the new Scotland" following devolution.
The SLF is also discussing with SEED the setting up of a three-way mentoring pilot. This would partner schools with the Scottish Executive or other public services and the private sector.
Coaching is likely to be seen as a component of the next round of Columba 1400 programmes. As the Executive rolls out its Ambitious Excellent Schools programme, coaching is likely to emerge for use with schools identified in the first tranche as having the potential to be transformed.
The English experience of similar advances will be sought from the National College for School Leadership, in Nottingham.