There are number of occasions when a face to face meeting with a member of staff would be useful. A meeting can be an excellent opportunity to share information that is sensitive or may need clarification of detail, which would be difficult to communicate concisely and unambiguously in writing.
A parent or carer may request a meeting with an appropriate member of staff to discuss any matter relating to their child’s education or welfare. Parents cannot however demand a meeting with a specific member of staff or for a meeting to take place at a specific time, nor can a parent arrive at school and expect to meet with a member of staff immediately.
A request for a meeting can be made in writing via a letter, e-mail or telephone. All requests should include the reason or subject to be discussed at the meeting and the name or Job Title of the persons you would like to meet. The requests should be addressed via the school office who will then forward the request to the most appropriate member of staff. This may not be the member of staff you are requesting to meet with but the most appropriate person to respond to your request or their line manager.
In most cases your child’s Form Teacher or Head of House would be the most appropriate person to meet with if it is about the child’s welfare, well-being or general progress. If the matter relates to a specific subject or lesson then the class teacher or the Area of Learning Lead is the most appropriate person.
In most cases a member of the administration team will contact you to discuss and agree a time, date and venue for a meeting. Staff will do their best to accommodate any reasonable request for a meeting and for this to be at a mutually convenient time. However, meetings would generally be expected to take place at school, during the working day or within 30 minutes of the start of the day or no more than one hour after the end of the day.
The start time and the expected duration of the meeting should always be observed. If it becomes apparent that a meeting is going to require more time than was first anticipated then the meeting should be adjourned and continued at a later date. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for a teacher to be delayed from attending to their other duties as a result of a meeting which overruns.
At the end of a meeting, those involved need to ensure that there is a clear agreement and understanding of the conclusion of the meeting. This may include: no further action, a written record of the meeting or agreed actions. Where actions are agreed then these should include dates for completion, monitoring or follow up.
Meetings may not always reach an agreed conclusion. When this is the case the school will make sure that all those involved are clear about ‘the school’s’ view or position with regards to an issue, even when others may not support or agree with that position. Hopefully this will be rare but this will help to provide unambiguous clarity for future reference.
The covert recording (video, audio or other electronic format) of a meeting is not allowed. If a note taker is not available then a meeting may be recorded but only with the knowledge of those present. Contemporaneous notes made in a meeting by an individual do not constitute any part of the official record and remain wholly and solely the property for the individual making the notes, unless that person’s role in the meeting is to act as clerk or note taker, in which case that person will provide all parties with a set of notes or minutes of the meeting (or part of a meeting which they attended), should they request such.