December 2014

Coaching and mentoring bring big benefits, say UCB experts

Read time: approx 3 mins

UCB lecturers are promoting the importance of coaching and mentoring – both academically and within the working environment. 

Martine Bird and Vicky Wynne are recognised as experts in Coaching and Mentoring, both inside and outside of the University. With Masters Degrees in Education, Equality and Coaching and Mentoring, and with Martine completing her doctorate, they have made big contributions to these growing areas of study. 

“Coaching and Mentoring supports the development of self,” explains Martine. “It also works in conjunction with the development of others engaging in a reflective stance, which acknowledges that human beings thrive in positive relationships.” 

In 2006, the Excellence in Cities initiative succeeded in widening the participation agenda and led to the development and delivery of both an FdA and BA (Hons) in Professional Learner Mentoring. This subsequently led to the development of Coaching and Mentoring at undergraduate and postgraduate level. 

Over the past five years, Martine and Vicky have been involved in many projects, including: 

  • A Level 4 course, accredited by UCB and delivered in a blended format
  • Working with the TITAN Partnership to introduce a Community of Practice which will culminate in a partner school achieving Coaching status in the near future
  • A bespoke Level 4 delivery within a special school
  • Poster and paper presentations as well as holding expert discussion forums at the International Professional Development Association conferences
  • A Level 3 Coaching and Mentoring provision to Newly Qualified Teachers at Holyhead School
  • PGCE Mentoring for both placement staff and students and Coaching and Mentoring development opportunity for Early Years teaching staff at Birmingham City Council. 

Additionally, Vicky has presented internationally in both Estonia and Bulgaria and has taken on responsibility for mentoring new staff (both internal and external to UCB) undertaking supervision of students through the Level 6 research module within the school. Martine continues to manage and teach the MA module Coaching and Mentoring. The lecturers are also developing an online Coaching and Mentoring package for people already working in all sectors of the industry. 

“We already have plans in place for next year to continue to build upon our success, both internally and externally,” said Vicky. 

“Working from UCB, we wish to achieve Coaching status within our associated special school and also produce an in-house publication to inform colleagues of recent developments. 

“Outside of the organisation, we aim to disseminate good practice through Birmingham, building on our relationship with the TITAN partnership as well as continuing with our conference presentations in which we explore the differentiation between helping and Mentoring relationships.” 

Coaching and Mentoring can make a substantial impact to many aspects of people’s lives, and requires a deep understanding of behaviour and learning habits. These skills aim to help and support individuals to take control and responsibility for managing their own learning and development. They are age-old concepts that continue to have meaning, application and relevance in the modern world. 

For further information, please contact Martine Bird (Senior Lecturer) at or Vicky Wynne (Senior Curriculum Leader) at

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