Better Conversations, enhancing education one discussion at a time

Four weeks of online knowledge exchange opportunities hosted by CollectivED, Growth Coaching International and Instructional Coaching Group


November 9th – December 5th


We are pleased to announce that our knowledge exchange will be going online. Join us for an opportunity to engage with great ideas, insights and discussion on how better conversations can enhance education for all.

There will be four weeks of video-based conversations to learn from, culminating in a live celebration of professional practice and learning with keynotes and participatory discussion sessions.

Our event starts on November 9th and over four weeks we will release themed video-based discussions. Each video will feature experts in conversation about their work and will be hosted by members of the CollectivED and GCI teams. The hosts will draw together key ideas and offer reflective comments and questions to help you reflect on your own professional contexts and research interests. Each video will be about 60 minutes long.

On December 5th we will hold a live, online event which will celebrate the value of coaching, mentoring and professional conversations in educational settings with keynote sessions from Dr Jim Knight, Viv Grant and Johnny Uttley, access to themed discussion rooms to follow-up the video-based conversations and keynotes and a plenary session hosted by Prof. Rachel Lofthouse and Prof. Christian van Nieuwerburgh.


Video-based conversations

Over four weeks from 9th November we will release a series of videos, each featuring several discussions hosted by CollectivED and GCI colleagues and our guest contributors. The weekly themes are as follows:


Week 1; Making coaching conversations count

  1. Charmaine Roche; What is the place of ethics and values in the coaching conversation?
  2. Kerry Jordan-Daus; How do we take the F word out of coaching (FEAR)?
  3. Catherine Hulme; What are the barriers to successful coaching in schools? How can these be overcome?
  4. Joanne Miles; How can we enhance the quality and depth of reflection around lesson observations by using coaching conversations?
  5. Lou Mycroft and Kay Sidebottom; How can The Thinking Environment create better professional conversations?
  6. Glennis Pye; Can peer coaching conversations support personal and professional development and wellbeing in new teachers?



Week 2; Building and sustaining the profession

  1. Lizana Oberholzer; How can coaching and mentoring be used as a change agent to develop early career teachers?
  2. Hannah Wilson; How can we diversify our schools?
  3. Suzanne Culshaw; Talking Openly: what can we learn from talking about struggling? An opportunity to reflect on teachers’ stories.
  4. Aaron Berry and Abul Kalam; EduMentoring: what is the vision and purpose of a grass roots, voluntary mentoring scheme?
  5. Bethan Hindley; How can school leaders create conditions for better professional conversations to take place?



Week 3; Managing challenge through better conversations

  1. Narinder Gill; How can coaching be used as a core leadership intervention to maximise potential, influence the ethical climate and optimise well-being and resilience.
  2. Margaret Barr; How can we build a feedback culture through professional conversations that promote wellbeing alongside improved performance?
  3. Jo McShane; Vulnerable pupils, vulnerable teachers. How should we support colleagues who are compromised by unethical school exclusion practices?
  4. Jess Mahdavi-Gladwell; How are professional mentoring/coaching relationships valuable to staff dealing with challenging situations involving distressed children?
  5. Jasmine Miller; How can coaching skills for parents develop positive relationships and enhance outcomes for children and young people?
  6. Chris Dale; How do we influence and lead across boundaries without formal authority?



Week 4; Reflecting on our learning

The conversation hosts hold a discussion on what they have found particularly interesting in the conversations from weeks 1-3.


The celebration of professional practice and learning

Saturday 5th Dec –10.00-1.30pm

Keynotes, participants in discussions and a panel.



Welcome – Christian van Nieuwerburgh (Executive Director of Growth Coaching International) and Rachel Lofthouse (Director of CollectivED)



‘Putting staff first during the pandemic’. Johnny Uttley (TEAL Trust CEO and member of CollectivED Advisory Board)



‘Better conversations for leadership through coaching’ Viv Grant, Director of Integrity Coaching



Discussion room 1 (participants choose a theme based on the videos released) (40 mins)



Break (15 mins)



‘Instructional Coaching: A different kind of coaching conversation’. Jim Knight (Senior Partner at Instructional Coaching Group)



Discussion room 2 (participants have a chance to reflect on and discuss the keynotes)



Live panel ‘Better conversations in action’ with Rachel Lofthouse, Jim Knight, Jonny Uttley and Viv Grant chaired by Christian van Nieuwerburgh (participants to submit questions during the morning)



Knowledge exchange debrief co-led by Rachel Lofthouse and Christian van Nieuwerburgh ‘Making it work; collaborative conversations creating powerful professional learning’

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