School Development Support Agency

Supporting the development of the school-led improvement system

Academic Coaching

Academic Coaching

Each year approximately 1,400 Year 6 pupils in almost all of Leicester's primary schools receive academic coaching support. Academic coaching is a blend of encouragement, motivational guidance and short bursts of teaching activities. The organisational arrangements are left to the discretion of the schools but generally it involves about 20 minutes of one-to-one or small group support each week. This support helps vulnerable learners to understand the next phase of their learning journey and specifically helps them overcome the short term hurdles they are facing in their learning.

Academic coaching is found to keep pupils engaged and motivated to make progress. In recent years, the scheme has been used in Leicester to specifically target Year 6 pupils for whom, due to a range of personal and school circumstances there is a real doubt that they will reach age expectations and are unlikely to achieve a scaled score of 100 in the Year 6 tests.


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SDSA's Role

The SDSA designed the Academic Coaching programme and has supported it since its inception.  We provide training for coaches, produce supporting resources for coaches including pupil handbooks and have fulfilled all aspects of project management to deliver the project in over 70 schools each year involving about 1,400 pupils.

Project Impact

Data analysis of the few thousand pupils that have received academic coaching in recent years indicates that academic coaching makes a significant positive impact on the achievement of vulnerable learners.

Project Lead

Rebecca Partington

Project Status


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