Academy Transformation: Culture and Coaching.

Chelsea Academy is a prestigious and successful school located in the heart of London. Despite performing well, they wanted to strengthen culture and improve standards.

SYCOL case studies

Support staff at all levels to participate in making improvements


The Principal at the Chelsea Academy wanted to review of the strength of their culture and how it aligned to their systems and structures. They wanted to develop leaders to understand how better to engage staff

School improvement was very much led from the top, and the leadership team could see that a more effective approach would be to align staff to a clear school culture, then give them autonomy to influence change.

Chelsea Academy

A cultural of collaboration to continue improvement


Chelsea Academy worked on an improvement programme that put staff professional learning and development at the forefront. It focused on engaging in innovative research and encouraging reflective learning conversations.

Enabling staff to have time to engage in research was key to them understanding the new model. This new way of working allowed the academy to continuously evaluate the impact of changes being made.

The transformational process included:

  • Co-creation of a new Core Framework
  • Staff collaboration as a model for sharing good practice and action research
  • Coaching delivered to key members of staff and leadership
  • Development of a coherent plan for staff professional learning and development
  • Innovative research and reflective learning conversations
  • Regular learning conversations and action research in professional learning teams
  • Ongoing culture of professional dialogue.

Collaboration, Empowerment and Results


The academy embraced staff collaboration as the model for sharing good practice and action research through innovation teams to implement change. Coaching was also delivered to key members of staff and leadership to support the development of mindset and habits of work and learning.

The new culture of collaboration and coaching had a significant impact on both staff and students at Chelsea Academy. By empowering staff at all levels to participate in driving improvements, there was greater buy-in and engagement across the academy. Teachers reported feeling more valued and supported, leading to higher job satisfaction. With improved leadership and clearer standards and expectations set collaboratively, teachers and students alike thrived.

"Visitors always comment on the sense of purpose, of belonging and of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our mission: Work Hard, Be Kind, No Excuses provides students with a compass to guide and direct their journey."

Mariella Ardron - Principal

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