Meetings: top tips

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Before the meeting

Do you know:

  • Where the meeting is? 
    Do you have the full address, do you know the route to get there, do you know where to park? Do you need cash for the car park or is it an app?
  • The time?
    What time will it start? How long will it last?
  • Who will be there?
    You can ask who will be attending so there are no surprises when you get there
  • Why is it happening?
    Do you know the reason for the meeting?  If not, ask the person who invited you or arranged the meeting
  • What do I want to achieve?
    Think about the outcome you want before the meeting and make notes to take with you.  You can then refer to these at the end to check you have covered everything.
    Bullet points will be easier to read.

Thinks to think about:

  • How am I feeling?   
    Try to speak and act in a calm, polite manner.  People are more likely to listen to what you say, and to try and work with you.  If this becomes difficult, ask for a break.
  • Have I written down all the questions I want to ask?
  • Have I got all the information and paperwork I need?
  • Do I want to ask someone to go with me? 
    i.e. a partner or a friend.
  • Have I got the views of my child or will my child be there?
  • Will someone be taking notes? 
    If someone goes with you, you could ask them and you can also ask the host at the beginning of the meeting.

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At the meeting

  • If there are no introductions at the start, ask who each person is and for a brief explanation of their role.
  • If jargon or acronyms are used, ask people to explain what they mean and check you understand before everyone moves on. It is common for abbreviations to be used without thought for someone present who may not be familiar with these terms.
  • If a report or new paperwork is brought to the meeting, ask for time to read it before it is discussed.
  • You know your child in a way that others do not and if you disagree with things being said about your child or suggestions for support, please say so.

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At the end of the meeting

  • Have I understood everything that was said?  Do others know my views?
    It may be helpful to confirm this by email or letter.
  • Do I feel that everyone can keep to agreements that have been reached?
  • Does everyone know what they are doing next?  What am I doing next?
  • Will I get notes or minutes of the meeting?  When?
  • If it is an Annual Review, will I see the AR02 form before the school sends it back to the Local Authority?
  • Is someone following up the agreed actions?
  • Confirm when, and how, we are going to review the progress?

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After the meeting:

  • It may be useful to write to whoever the  meeting was with to clarify and confirm your understanding of the points discussed and any actions that were agreed
  • Remember to follow up on everything that was agreed

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