Mary-Jo Hill

26 Feb 2019

The vocational versus the pragmatic. A marriage about to commence.

Mary-Jo Hill, founder of Coach for School Improvement explains why the Executive and Part Time MBA is so relevant right now.

The UK Education Industry is valued at £122 billion, employing over 1.8 million people. (https://www.ibisworld.co.uk/industry-trends/market-research-reports/education/)

I think we can safely say that national investment in education is not going to increase significantly so it is important to me, as a provider of bespoke and relevant continuing professional development, to support schools to maximise the impact of a schools’ most prized asset: the teacher. Coaching a teacher, or headteacher to be more effective in the classroom and as a leader within a complex, volatile and constantly changing environment is both immensely rewarding but more importantly really shows positive results in their performance at work. Budgets are tight, the education industry now advertises for CEOs on big wages. Business models are being employed to address economies of scale in schools across the country, with the coming growth in secondary age pupils particularly significant. By 2025 there will be 15% more pupils in secondary schools than there were in 2018. Yet, we are in the middle of a recruitment and retention story that is unprecedented. It is the retention part that I really value.

Mary-Jo started her career in education in London over 25 years ago, as teacher, advisor and educational consultant. Returning to Norfolk in 2012, she started her own coaching company to accommodate the needs of being mum to three boys, whilst remaining true to her core beliefs and building upon her knowledge and skills. 

“When my youngest son started school last year, I was able to devote more thinking time to my business. I was thrilled to be shortlisted for the Rural Business Awards in August 2018 for Best Education Business in the East of England and with that boost of recognition, I am also really pleased to have recently joined an executive group of international coaches as an associate  https://www.aesarapartners.com/ where the growth of cross-sector coaching is an exciting prospect for me.”

Now, the mist of mother -compromise is beginning to lift I have a greater clarity of purpose, renewed ambition and the time and space to scale up my business and return to learning myself. That is the part that I am really excited about. I have faced failure (former business) and loneliness (in self -employment) and I am taking the next big challenge for my business, as I will have yet another layer to managing workload and competing priorities. However, I really believe this will be enriched with local support, teaching and guidance from such an established and renowned place of study- The Norwich Business School at the UEA.

This opportunity would not have been possible without Lucy Marks from Norfolk Network and the fact that I have been awarded the Norfolk Network Scholarship 2019.  The other great party in making this happen is the charity FARA. http://faracharity.org/  As a trustee of this charity that transforms the lives of vulnerable young people, I am enormously grateful to the Board as they have also shown commitment in match funding this course: in what they see as a real investment in ensuring their governance is up to date and strategic, by supporting the training and development of their trustees.

“The consolidation in relevant research-evidenced modules in Business, plus the invigoration of working with others will, I trust, give me more knowledge, expertise and confidence in what I am doing. It will progress my prospects and create a more secure base to moving forward, whilst still being able to coach teachers and wider educational staff and continue to be a meaningful asset to school leaders.”