The inspire2teach programme offers a means by which teachers can deepen their awareness and understanding of:

  • what goes on in their classrooms;
  • their effectiveness as teachers; and
  • their own and their pupils’ learning

It puts teachers in control of their own professional development, allowing them to ‘start from where they are’. The programme’s framework can be used by teachers throughout their careers and applied to any teaching and learning situations. Based on the foundations of the IRIS Connect initiative, many of those teachers who have tried it have found it adds to their job satisfaction and can renew their enthusiasm for teaching.

Research suggests that teachers learn most from a combination of support from their peers and specialist support or verbal instruction from colleagues. The inspire2teach support framework encourages professional communication and helps teachers to develop a ‘shared language’ about teaching and learning.

Like all professional processes, it is most successful when teachers adapt it to their own needs and circumstances. There are, however, some basic principles which help to establish a climate in which both participants (clients) in the programme benefit fully. This programme, which is based on a research study of a three-year NCTL led pilot of peer coaching, sets out those principles and provides frameworks which will help teachers translate those principles into practice.


Building and embedding any kind of culture within a school or academic environment can be tricky, especially if it involves you telling staff that it will focus on the idea of video technology and observation.

In 2011 St Augustine Academy (Woodard Academy Trust) embarked on a journey that would explore and develop a coaching programme that would look to overcome these hurdles. Over a period of five years selected staff within the Academy worked alongside teaching staff to support and develop teaching and learning practice within the classroom. Improvements were seen from the support given and over time a model for coaching was developed, alongside the introduction of IRIS connect in 2013.

Inspire2teach was born out of our use of IRIS Connect. We’d had it for about two years, but were concerned about it falling by the wayside if the main driver for it in the school, was to leave. So we decided to develop a self-sustaining system that would prevent that happening.”

Paul Collin, Senior Lead Practitioner of Teaching and Learning at St Augustine Academy.


How we set up the programme:

Inspire2teach was born from a collective vison of support, which we wanted to build and cultivate within our Academy. Our shared vision for the development of our programme was:

  • To create a quality centre of excellence for teacher training and support across the Woodard family and beyond.
  • To develop teachers’ professional capacity to increase student progress.
  • To become a recognised centre for teacher training, initially within Kent, with the aim of becoming a national centre of excellence.
  • To develop strong professional relationships with link partners, to support the programme and future developments.

The information in this group provides solid foundations for the design, creation and growth of a coaching provision in school. Use the ideas and materials to discover what it's all about, why it works and how. For further more in depth information, contact us at inspire2teach.