Name: Jonathan Smith

Company: The Shared Learning Trust

Course: In House Programme

Jonathan is an Educational Consultant currently working for The Shared Learning Trust.

The Trust is a ‘Human Solution Services’ company, which is a family of schools, sharing practices and opportunities to ensure children, students and adults can flourish and develop into successful, well-rounded individuals.

Jonathan is also an ex-head teacher and has been in education since 2001.

The main objective of attending the CMI Level 5 Coaching and Mentoring Programme as an in house training course was to enable the organisation to gain a good grasp of coaching and mentoring, to lead their teams more effectively.

Jonathan’s thoughts

The in house training course has exceeded my expectations. The most challenging part of the training for me was the online delivery. To date I have completed all of my training in a face to face environment, so the online setting was different for me. However, the tutor, James Willerton, managed it well and I was impressed by how well he brought everyone into the conversations. The content was delivered at a good pace, and lots of it, but it did not feel overwhelming.

“I have an extensive background in counselling, particularly with young people and their families. This training has really opened my eyes to the differences between counselling, mentoring and coaching. I feel it has strengthened not only my mentoring and coaching, but also my counselling skills.”

Applying the learning

I have already begun to utilise the skills gained on the course by working with leaders within our organisation, in fact, just recently I had to call upon the teachings of the course when dealing with a challenging conversation. I was able to recall effective communication exercises that enabled me to deal with this challenging conversation appropriately and effectively. As I work in a supporting, leadership and teaching development role, these skills are essential in ensuring that I am fulfilling my role as educational consultant.

I feel I have learned a number of key skills and now have a better understanding of the differences between approaches and when to apply them. I have not just gained a qualification, I have learnt to be a better listener and enabler.


The in house training included a range of education-based employees from the trust, including Heads, Deputies and Team Leaders.

I found that the course was engaging, I received regular and timely information leading up to the course, during and afterwards. I was also able to speak to the tutor after each session if I had any questions.

I have been working with my colleagues to support them with both general issues and specific problems. Previous training alongside this programme has enabled me to give insightful support to these leaders.

I would highly recommend this course and In Professional Development. They are very open and flexible and managed to deliver this high quality course, especially during a national lockdown! This was impressive by any standards. The content was paced well and very full and I found the interactive elements strong, even with being online.

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