Merton Special Teaching Association

Impact Statements

Online Training


"It was an excellent course that will really help us to understand why and what to recognise."

"A very well paced presentation with a mixture of knowledge and tips. Very good session."

"The course was very informative and I will be using many of the strategies and tips to help support the children within my class. I will also be suggesting the organisational skills to my own daughter as one of my grandchildren is Autistic and has difficulty in organising himself for high school."

Short Courses 

"This was a brilliant course, very insightful and helpful. Hoping this will be run again soon so that some of my room team, especially my 1:1 staff can complete it."

"Clear and detailed explanations and examples. A lot of good strategies I could see myself finding useful."


"A very clear and concise session. I really liked the balance of the trainer talking and facilitating interaction." 

Come and See Events

"I will be talking with my team regarding independent work and how we could introduce this into our classroom"

" It was really useful to spend time in the classroom and then talk to the teacher - thank you to the teacher"

"I am amazed at the calmness of the classroom, the children were so well behaved"

"Very good. It was lovely to see how settled and engaged the children were. They knew what the expectations were and carried out the tasks"

NaSENCO Training Award

"This locally based SENCO course is the best course I've ever done" SENCO student 

"The SENCO course run through MSTA was great. It was a much smaller group than that at the university  which meant we could ask any questions we had very easily. All the presenters were very relevant to our work and as they were from local service this was particularly helpful. The learning rooted in the local context to was very helpful: we learned so much" SENCO student 

“Having the opportunity to learn through personal reading and through the contact days and all the presentations. This really helped me to develop confidence in the role of new SENCO as well as shape my vision for send provision at school. I had never stood back and reflected on SEN and asked questions about inclusion and 'difference'.  My mind was stretched to new ways of thinking. I also quickly learnt and this was great because I needed to know such a lot as soon as I started the job. Part of me questioned whether it would have been better to work as SENCO for a year first and then do the course, but now I think it was probably better to have done it straight away. Although it was a very steep learning curve and hard work.

The local aspect of the course was so helpful for me. We were the first SENCOs to benefit from the local Merton approach. We all found the smaller Merton contact days really practical and challenging. Meeting the faces of the people in Merton we needed to connect with was also very helpful. It made it personal. I think we were so lucky to have the opportunity and it was a real advantage.” SENCO student 


Headteacher and Leadership Team Coaching and Mentoring Support

"I found the combined John Yates International programme and  1:1 coaching an exceptionally useful experience. I found talking with a professional in whom I had trust was invaluable. The programme of coaching helped me to sort out  a number of things within my own school.

This has resulted in a change in my own approach to leadership. I feel that I have changed in myself – I feel that I have a steadier, more considered approach now, more collegiate, more able to delegate, more able to let staff learn through carefully monitored mistakes. I think I previously  adopted a ‘top down’ approach which had not built resilience in my team.  The signs of success include a change in the attitude of the Middle Leader team, confidence levels of the Middle Leaders are higher and we have had no staff turnover this term."

“Our school’s journey of leadership coaching began soon after the inspection of 2014 at which we were judged to be Requiring Improvement. The school had recently restructured its leadership team and had begun to make improvements, but the challenge of putting together a new team would be a significant factor in enabling the school to improve rapidly.

The sessions have taken the form of

  • individual coaching for the Headteacher,
  • preparation for the Headteacher in planning the leadership team session, and
  • group coaching with the leadership teamwhich were originally timed in with the John Yates Leadership training course.

From my perspective as Headteacher, the sessions have enabled me identify the key drivers that are either bringing success or offering challenge/blocks to improvement. The sessions have been challenging in identifying which of the elements are within my control, that are borne out of the actions of others, challenging and shaping the actions of others, seeing through key points of action.

The sessions are always challenging, but enable a real reflection upon actions, language, body language and plans for improvement. We have been able to tease out either large scale issues or those tweaks that need to be put in place. The sessions have also enabled me to see the individual strengths and development points within the leadership team, including my own development points and areas for improvement. The sessions have enabled me to structure my conversations with individuals and small groups of people, but essentially have enabled me to secure the right outcomes for school improvement, whilst managing people’s emotions and what they bring to that conversation.

The leadership team sessions have been particularly useful in enabling each member to reflect upon his/her own perspective, the perspective of the other team members and how these are enabling improvement or otherwise.

I believe that the sessions have had a direct impact upon

  • managing staff (including managing career moves),
  • how we structure the improvements in the classroom,
  • targeting the cohesion of the team as a whole, and
  • my own development as a leader.

School improvement still remains a challenging task, in fact even more so now that the school has been graded as Good (Ofsted, May 2016), but the coaching programme has enabled all members of the team to tackle the most important matters.”