Services For Independent Schools

At MCA we offer bespoke professional services for Independent Schools – developed to ensure that the solutions are as unique as your school.  Within a challenging landscape politically, financially and educationally it is more important than ever in the independent sector that school leaders are commercially agile to ensure that their school continues to thrive.

Our services for Independent Schools are headed up by Lynne Horner. Lynne is an experienced Head Teacher who has over 14 year’s leadership experience in the sector. Lynne’s career history includes the roles of Principal at Westholme School, Head for Abbey Gate College, Deputy for Rydal Penrhos School and previous positions with HMC, ISA, GSA and Society of Heads. These roles have given Lynne a wealth of knowledge, experience and proven track record and is exceptionally well placed to manage our services for Independent Schools.

Why not invite us in to discuss how we might be able to help? We can do this in two essential areas:

Financial and Operational

We appraise the capacity and capability of your existing operations and people to provide objective recommendations for improvement.  Within the context of operational efficiency and financial indicators we offer the following services to independent schools:-

  • Improvement and Recovery Planning
  • Efficiency Improvements
  • Resource Balancing (Teaching resource required vs available)
  • Financial and Business Planning
  • Interim Management Support
  • Recruitment of Senior Finance Personnel
  • Financial Awareness Training

Our reviews normally take between 10 to 12 consultant days to complete. During this period we provide regular informal updates followed with a substantive report which would include recommended improvements and solutions where possible.

Professional Development

We understand that schools are people focussed and we recognise that teams, leadership and schools change over time.  We appreciate the crucial investment required to develop, support and review leadership to ensure best outcomes for all stakeholders, especially students. We help you to take stock, assess your performance and adapt if necessary.

Executive Coaching

Leading a school is a privilege but it is also unrelenting and can be a lonely job. Having access to professional support through executive coaching has a proven positive impact on leadership success. Executive mentoring and coaching gives leaders time and space for safe reflection, strengthen their professional goals and develop their style.

We can offer individual 1:1 coaching for Heads and aspiring leaders. We also provide specialist group coaching for senior leadership teams, helping to build or refresh the team dynamic within the group.


Appraisals are a vital aspect of continuing professional learning and development within schools. We offer appraisals for Heads, Bursars and senior staff based on your school model, or we can develop or advise upon a bespoke 360’ review to suit your current needs and ambition.  This is an essential part of ensuring that the professional development and performance of senior leaders are valued, and we can help Governors achieve this confidentially, expertly and collaboratively.

Effective coaching and the external professional appraisal of school leaders reflects the strategic health of a school, positively impacting on performance and culture. We are immersed in the sector and skilled at distilling complex ideas into simple concepts.

Providing these services with our training and experience, we can help senior leaders optimise their goals for their own development, and for the benefit of the school.

Therefore, we can offer these professional services for our clients: –

  • Leadership appraisals – individual and team
  • Bespoke executive coaching and leadership mentoring
  • Pre-inspection health check (ISI focused)
  • Governing body appraisals
  • Strategic planning facilitation
  • Organisational re-structure planning –
  • Middle leadership training and development
  • Preparation for Headship – interview training for aspiring Deputies

At your invitation, we would make an initial, no-obligation visit or virtual meeting to discuss the focus of the work required in your School and then present you with a proposal.

“MCA Cooper Associates were able to quickly grasp and understand the school’s particular features and ways of working, making their own observations and analysing the substantial amounts of data we provided. I would be happy to recommend them to other schools to perform similar work.”

Christopher Neave, Chair of the Board of Governors, Teesside High School

At MCA we have many years’ experience of working with independent schools, helping them to diagnose problems and facilitate improvement.