LM People

Helen O’Donoghue

Leadership Coach, Leadership Trainer

My core aim is to work with schools, particularly with school leadership with one very fundamental purpose and that is to improve learning for children and young people.

I believe whole heartedly that schools can improve learning for children and young people and, through improving life chances give hope for the future. As these young people become older they can continue to be curious in the world around them and want to explore, be open to new ideas and make informed choices.
We can only do this by helping schools improve learning and I believe my work with school leadership has allowed schools leaders to know more about their direct and indirect impact on learning and make more informed choices that allows them to influence others and lead a more leaderful school, so improving children and young peoples learning.

For me, it is always good to keep the door open and be around others who are curious and want to work towards school improvement.
I have been a school leader in three different settings, so have an appreciation and understanding of the complexities of school leadership. As a consultant I work with the school’s own setting and context, offering guidance and support as a “Critical Friend”.

I work with schools on a bespoke basis to help them develop towards school improvement, through addressing their individual needs from their unique starting point, understanding their local context and setting. All the services, which I provide, are delivered with integrity and professionalism. High quality advice, guidance and support is shared on an ethical and trustworthy basis, based on experience in the field.

I pride myself on six core values

  • Confidentiality. I will always treat your context and narrative as confidential. I recognise the importance of trusted relationships in school if they are to be successful and if they are to improve. [I would put confidentiality towards / at the end]
  • Integrity. I fundamentally believe my support should make a difference in the lives of educators, students, stakeholders in schools and will deliver a service that is honest and fair.
  • Professionalism. From our first contact with you, I will provide a full and comprehensive professional service. All individuals at all levels will be treated with respect and integrity.
  • Independent. I am Director of an independent company and so am able to give advice freely that is accurate and impartial.
  • Internationally minded. I work with schools around the world and recognise the importance of an international mindset, honouring a school’s individual setting and recognising internationalism as part of our learning future.
  • Communication. I believe communication is the cornerstone of our services to school, so will always communicate with you regularly, honestly and in a timely fashion

Schools and school leaders who I have regularly worked with, have asked me to return to their setting to offer guidance support and coaching of themselves and their fellow senior leader and middle leaders.

I am a PGCE University tutor and offer mentoring and coaching guidance and support for newly qualified teaching staff.

Regarding training of staff, I have led whole staff training on a range of subject areas – metacognition, improving children’s inquiry, promoting questioning in the classroom, making schools and classrooms more learning focussed.

Specialist Area Details

I have worked with schools of all sizes and age ranges, from very small primary schools and all types of school from 3 – 18 years and with varying curricula.

My work has tended to be with school leadership, offering coaching and mentoring to new leaders, aspiring leaders and those who need a critical and supporting friend. I can offer senior and middle leadership training and consultancy, offering a blended programme of learning over time, based on action research within your school, as well as identifying talent within their r own setting to promote a sustainable leadership structure.

I can work with whole school staff, training and guiding on developing a learning ethos, developing metacognition within school and a “thinking” culture.

I have worked with new school set ups and having opened two new schools myself,have an understanding and first hand knowledge of the complexities and challenges of opening a new school.

I offer training on a range of subject areas, all based on the premise that they will improve children and student learning in the school. Most recently I have led training on promoting thinking in schools, improving questioning and enquiry in classrooms and creating a more learning focussed school.

My history

I have lead senior and middle leadership training, consultancy, and coaching over the last four years for schools in the UK and internationally.

I have offered a bespoke leadership module for schools, recognising their need and context. This has been a blended approach in some cases- so face to face training, offering on line support and an action research component to be completed over a school year.

I have returned to schools regularly each year to offer training and guidance with teachers, teaching assistants, leaders and parents and have an ongoing committed trusted relationship with these schools.

I am a professional coach to school leaders and am a member of the Association for Coaching. Leaders I have worked with have recognised the trusted relationship shared has allowed them to gain further promotion within schools and help in their inspection/accreditation preparations and processes.

I am a recognised provider of training and consultancy with the British Council, ISA and COBIS and a PGCE University tutor.

My contact information

Please contact me via my website www.tlcsunridge.co.uk or via email [email protected]
I will try and respond at the latest within 48 hours of your email.

I work exclusively with your context and need, whether it be a one-off consultancy/training you require then or something more extensive over time, I will be happy to try and help.

Dates do get very busy, so if you are able to give advance notice that is much appreciated, but I do know this is not always possible.

Fees are determined on the consultancy/training you require and whether it will be a one-off relationship or a longer term commitment.

Do email me and I am sure we can find suitable dates to help support you and your setting improve learning and your leadership of learning.


I met Helen O’Donoghue back in September 2016 when she attended The British School Caracas (TBSC) as an International Primary Curriculum (IPC) consultant. She spent two days at the school during which time we had many detailed discussions regarding where the school was in terms of the IPC and the next steps required.

I found Helen to be honest, open, knowledgeable and very supportive throughout this process. During the second day of her visit, Helen provided bespoke training to all Primary staff with the aim of working towards IPC accreditation. This was fun, engaging and specific to the needs of my school.

During the short time at TBSC, Helen was able to gain an excellent understanding of the school, the staff and the challenges. Through discussions and with Helen’s support we, as a school, were able to develop a clear action plan for working towards IPC Accreditation.

Since this visit, Helen has been my professional educational coach. We communicate every other month and engage in a professional dialogue. This time is used to share learning, discuss various scenarios regarding school leadership and management, and have been a great support to me new leader in education.

Jassi Grewal
Head of Primary - The British School Caracas

I have known Helen O’Donoghue for several years and worked with her on several occasions. Helen is a model professional who is very knowledgeable about education and leadership.

Helen and I jointly facilitate a Senior Leadership course for school Principals, Heads and Deputies. Helen is very supportive of other leaders as a lead trainer and a coach and I have also learnt a great deal from her both as a facilitator and an aspiring Principal.

I whole-heartedly recommend Helen as a course facilitator and coach to work with teachers and school leaders.

Vice Principal / Head of Primary
Nexus International School Malaysia

From 4th April until 4th July 2017 Helen O’Donoghue led the International Middle Leader Course (ILMP) as being an integral part of the ‘Leadership Impact on Learning’ of the Leadership Master course at Alberdingk Thijm Teachers College in Hilversum, The Netherlands. Helen also co-assessed the students ‘Personal Leadership Impact Projects’ with which they completed this master course module.

We were very pleased with Helen and impressed by her Professional attitude, her thoroughness, great teaching skills and expertise on educational leadership.

One of Helens great gifts, besides being a radiant personality, is that she is a keen observer, quick at analysing a situation or student’s needs, always keeping focus on learning objectives.

Helen is going to co-lead the ‘Leadership Impact on Learning’ module again in April 2019.

JMP Peereboom MA Principal Alberdingk Thijm Teachers College Director Academics ATI

JMP Peereboom MA
Principal Alberdingk Thijm Teachers College Director Academics ATI