Sam Sims

Education Datalab; UCL Institute of Education
Speaking at

Steve Farndon

Tutor – Institute for Teaching

Emily Henderson

Deputy Headteacher at Brookburn Primary School, Manchester


Instructional Coaching: Probably the best-evidenced form of CPD currently known to mankind

In 2007, a review of the academic literature found that the number of evidence-based CPD interventions in existence could be counted on two hands. Fortunately, since then, there has been an explosion of rigorous research on the best ways of delivering CPD for teachers and it overwhelmingly points in one direction: instructional coaching. What is instructional coaching and how can schools do more of it?

You will hear from three speakers in this session. Sam Sims will begin by describing how instructional coaching differs from other methods of CPD and summarising the evidence behind it. Then Steve Farndon (Institute for Teaching) will draw on his experience as an instructional coach to describe how it is done in practice. Finally, Emily Henderson (Deputy Head, Brookburn Primary School) will draw on her experience establishing instructional coaching in multiple schools to provide advice on how leaders can go about embedding this approach in their own schools.

Instructional coaching is probably the best-evidenced form of CPD currently known to mankind. Come and find out more about it.


Sam Sims is a Research Fellow at Education Datalab and recently submitted a PhD at UCL Institute of Education. He researches the teaching profession and has a particular interest in using linked survey and administrative data to understand how teachers‘ working environments affect their professional development.


Emily Henderson is Deputy Headteacher at Brookburn Primary School, Manchester, recently moving back to her northern roots after a few years of leadership in West Sussex.  She has completed the NASEN award for Special Educational Needs and the NPQH programme. She is a member of the Chartered College of Teaching, and is a mentor on the Chartered Teacher Programme. A passionate advocate of coaching to support best practice in teaching, and a lover of netball and good food on the side, she can be found on twitter under @henderford1985.

Steve Farndon works as a Tutor for the Institute for Teaching, delivering on their Transforming Teaching Programme. He spent the first 11 years of his career in teaching and middle leadership roles, trying to gain a greater understanding of excellent teaching. Through his current role he is developing his expertise in school improvement and professional development, targeted at improving student outcomes in schools across opportunity areas in the north. He is lucky enough to spend lots of time in a range of teachers’ classrooms, gaining first-hand experience of the benefits and challenges of Instructional Coaching.