Managing meetings

Managing Meetings

All participants should know the purpose of the meeting and the topics for discussion. An agreed agenda, which indicates what will be discussed and when, is not always necessary but can be useful.

Participants in a meeting should listen to each other’s views and work towards arriving at an agreed solution. It is rarely helpful when participants aim to convince everybody that their view is the only solution.


Definitions
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A Chair is the person holding the position of authority in a meeting (also known as a Chairperson or Chairman).

An agenda is a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting.


Chairing a Meeting: In Practice ...
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The Chair of the meeting is responsible for:

  • Introducing participants to each other
  • Ensuring that a note-taker is appointed to take notes of the discussion
  • Making sure everyone’s view is heard respectfully
  • Keeping the discussion focused on achieving the purpose of the meeting
  • Summing up the decisions of the meeting at the end
  • Circulating a draft record of the decisions and actions to all participants for confirmation, after the meeting.

Attending a Meeting: In Practice ...
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The way participants approach a meeting can make it easier to explore solutions and reach agreement. In meetings to discuss reasonable adjustments, it helps when participants:

  • Limit outside distractions, e.g. by turning off mobile phones
  • Are open to each other's ideas
  • Look for advantages in every idea
  • Wait until all ideas have been discussed before considering which is best.

Question
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Are these six steps useful for conducting a meeting about reasonable adjustments?

the student, and their strengths, interests, needs, and goals. Parents and other associates are well placed to help staff members think about ways to support the student’s participation in education.

whether adjustments are necessary, and in what situations.

ways to address challenges through adjustments, including support services, that will enable the student to participate on the same basis as other students. Put all options on the table, and list them. Include all relevant details, such as who makes the adjustment, and when.

which adjustments or forms of support are reasonable, by considering their effects on the student with disability, other students and staff. Anyone can ask for more time to think before making a decision.

on how the impact of the adjustments will be monitored and how progress will be communicated to all parties. Set dates for further meetings if necessary.

the meeting with a summary of what has been agreed, what each person will do, and when the agreement will be reviewed. It may be useful to send a summary of the meeting in the post or by email.


Video: Settling Aleesha into Pre-school
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Download video transcript
Aleesha attends an early childhood centre, and has a mild disability. Her mother meets with the director and other staff members to discuss ways of ensuring that Aleesha feels safe and supported in the centre.


The Toolkit
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This toolkit contains tips for people who have to organise or attend a meeting.

Requesting a meeting Managing meetings Being prepared Managing emotions Keeping records Was the meeting successful?