Meetings Toolkit

Meetings Toolkit

Meetings are often useful to support the education of students with disability. Education providers must consult students with disability and their families in deciding reasonable adjustments. Consultation meetings can involve only two people, such as a parent and a teacher, or may include others, such as the student, a support person, an advocate or people with specialist expertise.


Definition
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A meeting is a group of people called together for a particular purpose and usually involves a formal discussion leading to an agreement.


Question
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In what circumstances might you organise a meeting to discuss a student with disability?

A planning meeting where people share knowledge of the student’s strengths, goals, and needs increases the school’s understanding of the student.

Talking through these problems can provide information that can be used by staff to support the student.

It is helpful for the school to know about these changes if they affect the student’s learning or participation at school.

Understanding the student’s progress can help the school and home work together.

The school should consult the student or their parents or carers about making reasonable adjustments.


Spotlight
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Spotlight: We need to meet!

Once an issue has been identified, a meeting should be arranged promptly to discuss reasonable adjustments for a student with disability.

A student with disability


I can expect:

  • I, or my parent, carer or other associate, will be invited to a consultation meeting to discuss adjustments when necessary.
  • I, or my parent, carer or other associate, will be able to initiate a meeting to discuss my needs and appropriate adjustments.
  • I, or my parent, carer, or other associate, can decide whether or not to attend all or part of any scheduled meetings.

I can contribute by:

  • Expressing my views during meetings or nominating someone else, such as an associate, to speak for me.

A principal


I can expect:

  • I will initiate a consultation meeting to discuss reasonable adjustments for a student with disability when necessary.
  • I will respond to a formal request from a student with disability or their associate to organise a meeting.
  • I will prepare for a consultation meeting, including by drafting an agenda if necessary.
  • I will chair a consultation meeting if required.

I can contribute by:

  • Inviting people with relevant knowledge and expertise to attend a scheduled consultation meeting to discuss reasonable adjustments
  • Arranging an appropriate place to meet
  • Making sure someone takes accurate notes of the meeting
  • Keeping the meeting focused on its agreed purpose
  • Ensuring a record of the meeting is circulated to relevant people afterwards
  • Nominating an appropriate member of the school staff to perform this role if I am unable to do it myself.

A parent, carer or other associate
of a student with disability


I can expect:

  • I will be invited to a consultation meeting about reasonable adjustments for my child when necessary.
  • I will be able to request a meeting to discuss my child’s needs.
  • I will be able to propose items for the agenda.
  • I will be consulted about who should be invited to the meeting.
  • I will be consulted about the time and place of the meeting.
  • I can decide whether or not I will attend all or part of the meeting.
  • I can bring a support person to a meeting if I wish.

I can contribute by:

  • Nominating people with relevant expertise to attend the meeting
  • Asking for the draft meeting agenda beforehand
  • Advising the convenor of the meeting if I am bringing a support person
  • Expressing my views during the meeting or nominating someone else to speak for me.

A consultant with specialist expertise


I can expect:

  • I may be invited to a meeting about issues that affect a student’s participation in education.
  • I will be able to request a meeting to discuss a student’s participation in education.

I can contribute by:

  • Expressing my professional opinion in a way that everyone understands.

A support person


I can expect:

  • I will be able to to attend a consultation meeting about issues that affect the person I support, such as a student or a parent, if the person I support has invited me.
  • I will be able to speak on behalf of the person I support when they require me to.

I can contribute by:

  • Discussing the issues with the person I support prior to the meeting so I understand their perspective
  • Expressing the views of the person I support during the meeting when required
  • Ensuring that the views I express are those of the person I support, rather than my own
  • Being available to provide support after the meeting if required.


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?

Summary
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The law states that students with disability have the right to be consulted before the education provider makes reasonable adjustments to enable them to participate in education on the same basis as students without disability. Anyone in a personal or professional relationship with the student can ask for a meeting and everyone should know why a meeting is requested and who will attend. Talking through the issues beforehand and using an agenda can assist participants to focus on the best outcomes for the student. Keeping records of meetings is useful for monitoring and review.