Welcome to GCI Insights

Welcome to the first edition of GCI Insights for 2020. We have the results of our most recent Coaching in Education Survey just in and news of the forthcoming launch of GCI in Wales, extending our reach in the UK. We are very proud to share stories from the Growth Coaching Foundation’s work in Tanzania and Cambodia, making it possible for educator colleagues in these countries to access quality coach training.

Feb 2020-Kris Needham.mp4

In our series introducing the GCI leadership team, this edition features Claudia Owad, Director based in the Sydney office. Claudia has also contributed a short primer on a theory directly relevant to coaching; self-determination theory.
Our other research highlight is Professor Rachel Lofthouse’s hot-off-the-press research on school leaders and coaching.

We have been saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Tony Grant, a giant in the field of coaching psychology and influencer of coaching methodology at GCI and around the world.

Best regards
Dr Kris Needham
Editor, GCI Insights


Coaching in Education Survey Report 2019

The report on the GCI Coaching in Education Survey for 2019 has just been released. Almost 700 senior educational leaders completed the survey, mainly from Australia.
Consistent with last year’s survey, respondents reported very high levels of improvement in the areas of

  • giving and receiving feedback
  • conversations with colleagues and
  • professional practice

as a result of their being coached.

There were parallel, but incrementally higher, results for each of these areas as a result of undergoing coach training.
For more detail, read the full report.


Meet Claudia Owad

In this Q&A, we introduce you to Claudia Owad.

Feb 2020-Claudia Owad.mp4

Launch of Growth Coaching International in Wales in March 2020

2020 is an exciting year for Growth Coaching international in the United Kingdom. We have been working with educators in Scotland for a number of years but are delighted to be connecting more closely with schools, teachers and system leaders in England and Wales. An important element about broadening our work in the UK has been the development of partnerships with Leeds Beckett University, Carnegie School of Education (LBU) in England and the University of South Wales (USW) in Wales. Through these partnerships, we hope to be able to work alongside a wide range of schools and educators in developing their coaching and mentoring skills whilst also supporting them embed a coaching culture within their own unique setting.

The highlight for the start of the year is our launch event in Wales on March 4th, partnering with USW.

At this event, delegates will be able to gain an insight into the world of Growth Coaching International from a range of interactive activities delivered by Christian Van Nieuwerburgh, Dave Tee, Lead Associate in Wales, Margaret Barr, Lead Associate in Scotland and Dr Rose Blackman Hegan, Managing Consultant UK.

Feb 2020-Rose Blackman Hegan.mp4

Each will draw on their own experience and expertise as practising coaches as well as their first-hand knowledge of the education sector.

Later in the year, we will be again co-delivering the CollectivED conference in association with Leeds Beckett University, Carnegie School of Education. There is an exciting day planned including a diverse range of knowledge exchange roundtables and keynotes from Jim Knight (Instructional Coaching Group, USA), Rachel Lofthouse, John Campbell and Christian Van Nieuwerburgh.

Throughout 2020 we will be working with educators from a diverse range of institutions on our programs; Fundamentals of Coaching Practice, Introduction to Leadership Coaching, Students coaching Students, The Impact Cycle and the Coaching Accreditation Programme.


The Growth Coaching Foundation

The GCI Foundation was established to provide professional learning for educators in locations where it is rarely accessible in the way that it is provided in Australia. Having seen the benefits of good quality professional learning we were keen to contribute in some small ways, towards making it possible for educators in these locations to access further professional learning, particularly in coaching.

This article outlines projects currently supported in Tanzania and Kenya and in Cambodia. GCI funds all expenses and provides materials for GCI facilitators, who donate their time to lead workshops.


Read more about Tanzania and Kenya


Read more about Cambodia


Have you met the Global Framework for Coaching in Education?

How can you extend the impact of your coaching program? The Global Framework for Coaching in Education is a model of four ‘portals’ that helps us think about the ways in which coaching can be used effectively in educational settings.

The Framework was devised by GCI Executive Director Christian van Nieuwerburgh and GCI Founding Director John Campbell and features in their book The Leader’s Guide to Coaching in Schools.

In this video Christian elaborates on the Framework and how it can be used by practitioners to support existing or planned coaching programs.

Global Framework - Professor Christian van Nieuwerburgh.mp4

Vale Professor Anthony (Tony) Grant

Coaching communities worldwide were shocked to hear of the recent passing of Professor Tony Grant. Tony is widely recognised as a pioneer in the field of coaching psychology, in fact the Institute of Coaching calls him a ‘giant’ in the field.

Tony himself had a significant impact on many of us at GCI, as students within his Masters program, or through a professional and personal relationship with him. Tony had an exuberant larger-than-life personality, enabling him to share his passion for coaching. GCI was honoured to have him as a keynote speaker at the 2019 Coaching in Education Conference.

Tony’s interest began after he enrolled in psychology as a mature student and gained a University Medal in the Psychology Honours Program at the University of Sydney. Determined to build an evidence base for the impact of coaching, he completed a PhD on the psychology of coaching at Macquarie University and went on to establish, in 2000, the Coaching Psychology Unit at the University of Sydney, a world first. Tony and the CPU were to become a lighthouse for the study of coaching. From here he led the way in establishing a scientific foundation to coaching, recognised by awards from the British Psychological Association and Harvard University.

As a mark of respect for Tony, the University of East London has set up an annual Professor Tony Grant Memorial Lecture that will provide opportunities to hear from and appreciate academics who are making a significant contribution to the field of coaching psychology.

Read some of the online tributes to Tony here and here.

Read Tony's paper A brief primer for those new to coaching research and evidence-based practice.

Revisit concepts from Tony's 2019 conference keynote on the so-called third wave of coaching – a coaching way of being.



Our featured research for this edition is the recently published Sustaining a Vital Profession: A research report into the impact of leadership coaching in schools led by Professor Rachel Lofthouse of the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University.

The research came in response to reported high levels of stress for senior school leaders and is the first of its kind to explore the relationship between coaching, wellbeing and leadership effectiveness amongst senior school leaders.

In the video, Rachel explains the key findings.

Click here to read more about this research.


We also dig into one of the theories often referred to in the research literature on coaching: Self-Determination Theory. GCI Director Claudia Owad, who is interested in using this theory in her own upcoming research study, gives a quick snapshot of what it is and why it is important in coaching, in particular for goal achievement.

Read more here.


Dr Jim Knight has written about the relevance of Self-Determination Theory to the concept of teacher autonomy in his Radical Learners blog. Jim states that when we understand the link between motivation and having a large measure of control over our lives, it becomes evident that coaches “need to ensure that teachers have significant choices about what they do, including the right to say no to particular proposals”.

Read the article Jim co-authored with Matthew Kelly here.
Read Jim's article for Educational Leadership on this topic here.


News and upcoming events

Please note that the 2020 Global Coaching in Education Summit 15-19 June Singapore has been postponed due to concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus emergency. We will advise you of the new date as soon as possible.”

On 23rd June, Better professional conversations; enhancing education one discussion at a time will be held in Leeds, United Kingdom. This one-day event is a partnership venture between CollectivED, the Centre for Coaching, Mentoring and Professional Learning at Leeds Beckett University, GCI and Instructional Coaching Group. It is planned as a very interactive day with a roundtable discussion, allowing participants to join discussions that are of interest to them, facilitated by hosts drawing on relevant experience and research. For more information please click here.

On the following day, 24th June, and at the same venue, the partnership hosts our first one-day Masterclass Series, with a choice of three options, led by Dr Jim Knight, Professor Christian van Nieuwerburgh or John Campbell. Two-day tickets for both events are available. For more information please email CollectivED.

Growth Coaching New Zealand offers Moving on up! Coaching in Education Symposium in Auckland on Friday 14th August, featuring Christian van Nieuwerburgh and other speakers from GCI’s executive team as well as local practitioners. For more information please click here.


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