Coaching and Mentoring for Self-Efficacious Leadership in Schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



– This article aims to propose a three‐stage framework for on‐going professional development of aspirant and incumbent heads that is designed to increase their own self‐efficacy. It is suggested that continuity and progression in self‐efficacy development can be addressed via processes pertaining to acculturation, assimilation and actualisation. The on‐going work of Fletcher augments this conceptual framework with a new approach to action research ensuring an evidence‐based foundation to the growth of self‐efficacy.

– The article offers an analysis of existing research evidence in coaching, mentoring, talent management, leadership development and self‐efficacy to propose a framework useful in research and in the development of self‐efficacy that may help secure transition between the potential to lead and high performance in leadership incumbency in schools.

– The article points to the importance of coaching and mentoring as potential scaffolds to create an appreciation of self‐efficacy's value at all stages of the headship journey. It is suggested that active development of individual's self‐efficacy through mentoring and coaching relationships may serve to ensure that the loss of human potential of those who could lead but never completed the journey is reduced.

Research limitations/implications
– The article identifies new questions pertaining to the practice of high quality coaching and mentoring in the journey to leadership in schools and raises further questions pertaining to the conceptualisation of learning relationships and the interactions and feelings involved in such learning relationships.

– This article suggests a phased approach, an integrated vision of mentoring and coaching for headteacher development that can span their professional lifetime. This generative approach is what distinguishes the authors’ proposal from others. An emphasis is placed on self‐study integrated in an Appreciative Inquiry approach, however, the authors’ proposal goes further in that they have realised that aspirant headteachers should be taught how to undertake self study integrated with action research not only for their own benefit as they journey towards incumbency but also so that they can become coach and mentor for others; for their staff, pupils and other aspirant headteachers.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-63
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013