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Book Review

Book review: Will Thomas, 2009. Coaching Solutions 2nd Edition: Practical Ways to Improve Performance in Education. 2 Edition. Bloomsbury Academic.

Will Thomas, 2009. Coaching Solutions 2nd Edition: Practical Ways to Improve Performance in Education. 2 Edition. Bloomsbury Academic.

Will Thomas

Alistair Smith

As an avid reader of football related coaching books, I was recommended this great read about two and half years ago by my line manager. This book helped me as an aspiring middle leader to not only get the most out of those I managed but also myself. To quote a bit from the opening pages “coaching is a process that helps others to enhance their performance and set their own direction”. The book is fantastic for those in middle and senior leadership as well as those who enjoy leading from their classroom.


The book is broken up into four sections ranging from understanding what is coaching to implementation of the ideas with staff or students.  In an Oriel High School era of developmental targets and kaizen principles this book puts your mind at ease in how to succeed with both students and staff. The easy to read nature of the book allowed me personally to get to grips with chunking key parts from each section of the book implementing the ideas into my day to day practice, whether it was the acronyms to remember effective coaching techniques, summary pages with ideas or the question pages to check understanding.


I have constantly gone back to this book over the last 30 months especially in the last year as the team I manage has got bigger and bigger, this book has been really important in understanding how to pose questions to get staff and students to think more deeply about an issue or topic and empower them to find the solutions.

Great and practical read, purchased from amazon.


Sunny Gunessee

More info on the book from Amazon:


“Thomas, a performance coach and trainer who directs educational coaching organizations in the UK, and Smith, a trainer in modern learning methods who also works in motivation, explain how coaching methods can be used in education. They detail what coaching is, how to coach, basic and advanced techniques, and benefits to schools, colleges, and universities, as well as aspects like communication improvement, the role of beliefs, using questions, differences from counseling and mentoring, coaching the reluctant, and self-development and management. This edition updates chapters and incorporates new evidence and case studies.” -Eithne O’Leyne, BOOK NEWS, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

This is the first book to take the coaching approach out of the world of business and sport and place it directly into education. Coaching is a proven method of improving individual and team performance: its success derives from an understanding that all meaningful progress is driven from within. Coaching Solutions offers practical tools to help individuals, teams and organizations secure the improvements they want.
Coaching Solutions is written by Will Thomas and Alistair Smith who, between them, have years of experience of development work in and around education. The book is for:
• Teachers who want a way of better understanding and motivating the hard-to-reach.
• Managers who want to help their team reclaim the agenda.
• Leaders who want an institutional focus that will bring energy to the system.
• Parents who have a reluctant youngster at home.
• Communities who want to get back in touch with each other’s needs.
Coaching Solutions contains sections on:
• What is coaching?
• How do you coach?
• Where do you begin with coaching?
• How could you develop a coaching organization?
It provides dialogues and case studies and cites evidence of success. There are examples of schools using coaching successfully to bring about change, together with masterclasses at the end of every chapter.
Written in a comprehensive style, Coaching Solutions is your passport to progress



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