School performance and school improvement are in the spotlight. A plethora of policy driven initiatives including the prescription of standards, enhanced self-management opportunities, organisational restructuring, professional development of staff and statutory interventions, such as literacy development, have underlain the pressure and support offered by government to raise standards in schools. Coaching, mentoring and peer-network mechanisms, which have had prevalence outside education, are being seen as important within education as a means of assisting the raising of standards and attainment. This article concerns itself with the use of coaching, mentoring and peer-network mechanisms in schools as a means to enhance professional development, embed changed practice and encourage the transmission of teacher learning to pupil learning within classrooms. The potential benefits of the deployment of such mechanisms within schools are reviewed, and the article highlights management issues within schools likely to emerge should individual schools adopt or give additional prominence to the use of such mechanisms as a means to enhance professional development.
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