Concerns over teacher retention and resilience led to a coaching project designed to support and nurture a group of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) in a University school partnership. Research interviews were conducted with the group to ascertain the issues that they had faced during the year and impact of the coaching experience. The NQTs reported familiar stresses related to workload, pupil behaviour and in some cases a lack of support from the schools that they worked in. The coaching had, to varying degrees, acted as a protector where the NQTs felt that they could ‘let off steam’ in an environment that was less judgemental as the coaches were removed from school organisations. This allowed the NQTs to recalibrate and be reminded of the bigger picture of why they came into teaching. They were then in a position to develop their practice. Recommendations are made that coaching can be an important part of professional development in rather low stakes environments that can have valuable returns for those concerned and that this should be considered at a time when the Government in England is reviewing the process of awarding Qualified Teacher Status.