Chair: the person holding the position of authority in a meeting (also known as a chairperson)
Agenda: a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting
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.
Chairing a meeting: In practice
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
The way participants approach a meeting can make it easier to explore solutions and reach agreement. In meetings to discuss adjustments, it helps when participants:
limit outside distractions, for example, 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.
Conducting a meeting about adjustments: Six useful steps
Talk about 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.
Consider whether adjustments are necessary, and in what situations.
Explore 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.
Decide 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.
Agree 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.
Close 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.