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CONDUCTING
EFFECTIVE
SCHOOL
MEETINGS
najmakazi@gmail.com
INTRODUCTION
• Hindle (1998) defines a Meeting as two or more people coming
together at a prearranged time and place to resolve problems or
make decisions.
• Formal meetings are held at definite times, at definite places,
and usually for definite durations to follow an agreed-upon
agenda
• Informal meetings might occur almost anywhere and usually do
not have an explicit planned agenda.
• The job of the Head of the institution is primarily ' Making
Decisions, Implementing, Supervising & Reporting' either
individually or collectively.
• The collective decision making involves forums like School
Committee, Staff, PTA, Transport & other Committees.
• Meetings are most important tributaries of enriching the
experiences, enhancing the abilities, and developing the
performance of the stakeholders.
• The success of such meeting depends on the understanding of
the purpose and the ability to plan and manage them.
PURPOSE
OF THE
SCHOOL
MEETINGS
 Solving specific problems of stakeholders
 Recruitments
 Approval of financial matters
 Generating new ideas & Innovations
 Communication and Co-ordination
 Making/ Implementing Policies
 Review & Feedback of Programs & Projects
 Promotion & upgrading
 Academic, Administrative & Financial Planning
 Motivation & Recognition
 Professional Development
 Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness
 Brings a wide variety of voices and collective wisdom to bear on
important issues, problems and challenges facing workplace.
AREAS OF
ORGANISING
MEETINGS
A. Before the meeting (Pre-Planning)
B. During the meeting (Execution)
C. After the meeting (Follow-up)
(A) BEFORE THE
MEETING
(PRE-
PLANNING)
 Decide the Date, Time & Venue.
 Prepare the Agenda.
 Notice to members of the Committee informing the venue,
date, time & agenda of the meeting well in advance.
 Minutes of the last meeting along with Action Taken
Report.
 Signature to be obtained on Notice/ Circular.
 Make the physical setting comfortable.
 Assign duties to Teaching & Non -Teaching Staff (Minute
writer, cleaning & setting of the place, Refreshments,
Stationery, Technology etc.)
 Brief account / Notes of agenda to be discussed should be
kept ready.
 Points to be discussed during any other matter to be kept
ready.
DEVELOPIN
G THE
MEETING
AGENDA
 Organizing a meeting needs an advanced decision about the
items that are going to be discussed in the meeting. The list of
such items is termed as agenda.
A quality meeting agenda should include the following:
 The overall purpose of the meeting in clearly written
sentences.
 A note on who is required to attend.
 The projected time span of the meeting.
 The location of the meeting.
 Any special resources that participants should bring.
 Any advance preparation that is required.
 The names of the Chairman, recorder, and timekeeper for the
meeting.
 Agenda items, preferably including questions to encourage
advance reflection program along with the projected time span
for discussing each item.
SOME
ELEMENTS OF
THE AGENDA
 Opening Formalities
 Apologies
 Confirmation of Minutes
 Business Arising from the Minutes
 Secretary’s Report
 Academic Decisions
 Administrative problems & solutions
 Resolutions
 Selection & Recruitments
 Special Reports
 Financial Decisions
 Upgradations & Promotions
 Acknowledgements & Appreciations
 Making Rules & Regulations
 Enquiry & Punishments
 General Business
 Any other matter with the permission of the Chair
 Summarizing the decisions taken
 Date of next meeting
 Close of meeting
(B) DURING
THE
MEETING:
CONDUCT OF
THE MEETING
 The overall manner, spirit, and tone in which the school
meetings are conducted, is critical to achieving meaningful
participation and productive outcomes.
 The preparation beforehand makes it easier to execute the
meeting.
 During the meeting, it is necessary to not lose track.
 Keep the focus on the agenda as well as on the time.
 Cover up all the crucial topics.
 Summarize everything discussed at the end to clear any
queries.
 The close of the meeting is just as important as the opening
of the meeting to provide task clarification and summaries
GUDELINES
FOR SMOOTH
CONDUCT OF
THE MEETING
 Be punctual & begin on time, keep attendance record /
Apologies if any.
 Deal with the agenda in a business- like manner.
 State & explain the objectives & brief account of each item
for discussion.
 Encourage free & frank discussion.
 Accept constructive suggestions & contributions.
 Clarify & interpret statements wherever necessary.
 Sum up at the conclusion of each discussion & state what
has / has not been agreed.
 Keep the discussion on the right line through out the
meeting.
 Indicate what action need to be taken & by whom & when it
is required to be completed & make sure it is recorded in the
minutes.
 Maintain Decorum.
 End on time Highlight the solutions presented & decisions
made.
[C] AFTER THE
MEETING:
FOLLOW UP
(i) Writing Minutes
(ii) Communication & Implementation of Decisions
(iii) Action taken Report.
(i) Writing Minutes:
 During the meeting, the items listed in the agenda are discussed
serially one by one.
 All the participants express their view / opinion & discuss amongst
themselves the pros & cons of each item.
 Finally, they arrive at some conclusion or decisions which are kept
on official record.
 Thus, the minutes are the formal record of the proceedings of the
meeting.
 For the sake of accuracy, minutes should be written as soon after
the meeting as possible, when the details are still fresh in the mind.
 Preferably minutes should be circulated within a week of the
meeting being held.
 Prompt circulation of the minutes alerts people who have been
assigned tasks into early action and swiftly brings up to date those
who missed the meeting.
 Note points for action (and the person responsible) that need to be
followed up between meetings.
 Make a note of items requiring long-term attention.
[C] AFTER
THE
MEETING:
FOLLOW UP
The minutes of a meeting must contain:
 Date & No. of Meeting.
 A list of the names who attended the meeting.
 A list of absentees or Apologies.
 Record of confirmations of the previous minutes &
any amendment agreed to by the committee.
 Discussion about business arising from the last
minutes.
 The essential relevant background to the topic under
discussion
 A summary of the discussion.
 A clear record of the decisions reached; resolution
passed & names of individual / committee
responsible for taking subsequent action.
 The minutes should be signed by the chairperson.
 Copies of the minutes should be circulated to all
concerned persons.
[C] AFTER
THE
MEETING:
FOLLOW UP
(ii) Communication & Implementation:
 Decisions / Resolutions passed in the meeting
should be conveyed separately & clearly to
the concerned persons. The decisions taken
should be implemented & properly recorded.
(iii)Action Taken Report:
 The Action Taken Report should be prepared
highlighting the process, impact & feedback
for each of the decisions & the same be
presented in the subsequent meeting under
the agenda Action Taken Report.
WHY
MEETINGS
FAIL?
 Lack of clarity regarding the purpose of the
meeting.
 Not planning well in advance.
 All points of discussions are not included in
Agenda.
 Minutes are not properly recorded.
 Conflict of opinions creating policy paralysis.
 Decision not conveyed to the concerned staff.
 Diversion from the agenda during
discussions.
 Not adhering to time schedule.
 Not creating a welcoming atmosphere.
 Focusing on problems, not solutions.
 Being too leader centric.
BASIC
GROUND
RULES FOR
ORGANISER
S
 Respect people’s time. Start and end meetings on time.
 Choose the right time & location.
 Develop and circulate the Notice & agenda well in
advance.
 Check technological equipment or online meeting
platforms prior to the meeting.
 Plan for a backup in case of malfunctions or difficulty with
the meeting platform.
 Designate a facilitator responsible for ensuring the
meeting stays on track.
 Establish a common understanding of the problem, issue,
or question to be addressed.
 Establish and follow joint ground rules and develop a
common understanding of the process.
 Keep the ground rules always posted.
 Promote shared decision making.
 Follow the Agenda.
 Take minutes properly.
 Promote a positive climate.
 Build in time for information sharing.
 Build in Social Time.
 Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the meetings.
 Always end meetings on time and on a positive note.
 Before closing, review actions and assignments.
 Set the date, time & place for the next meeting.
 Meeting minutes and/or actions should be reported to
members at the earliest.
MEETING
EVALUATION
CHECKLIST
 Participants were notified in advance and given a pre-
arranged agenda.
 The meeting started and ended on time.
 The purpose for the meeting was made clear.
 There was a transition from the last meeting.
 One topic and one person had the floor at a time.
 The meeting facilitator summarized the main points of the
discussion.
 Everyone was clear as to what action items they were
responsible for.
 Everyone participated and expressed their thoughts.
 Plans for the next meeting were arranged.
 Minutes were distributed within a few days of the meeting.
BASIC
GROUND
RULES FOR
MEETING
PARTICIPANT
S
It pays to establish a few basic ground rules that can be
used for most of the meetings. These ground rules cultivate
the basic ingredients needed for a successful meeting.
 Review the meeting invitation and agenda in advance.
 Show up on time and come prepared.
 Stay mentally and physically present.
 Eliminate distractions & off task behaviour.
 Avoid interrupting, apologize when it happens
inadvertently.
 Contribute to the meeting goals.
 Let everyone participate.
 Listen with an open mind.
 Respect other member’s opinion.
 Think before speaking.
 Stay on point and on time.
 Attack the problem, not the person.
 Volunteer for relevant tasks.
 Close decisions and identify action items.
 Record outcomes and follow up.
ROLE OF
THE
MEETING
LEADER
 Of prime importance for the success of any
meeting is the attitude and leadership of
the Chairperson.
 In a meeting, the chairperson is the leader
and, as such, must perform the same function
as the leader of any working group.
 For the conduct of a successful meeting the
leader’s attitude & efficiency from the beginning
statement through the entire discussion are
critically important.
 The leader should be well Prepared, be able
to think & act quickly, get along with others,
respect their opinions, know objectives of
discussion & the reasoning process, be patient
& have a sincere interest in the values of co-
operative group action.
ROLE OF
THE
MEETING
LEADER
For a meeting to be effective, the Chairperson must:
 Plan, organise and control the discussion of subjects on the
agenda.
 Maintain the group by encouraging and developing
harmonious relationships.
 Motivate the individuals by encouraging all to contribute,
rewarding their efforts and supporting them in any
difficulties.
 The meeting leader is ultimately responsible for managing
disrupting behaviors and responding in ways that keep the
meeting on track.
 The meeting leader may need to manage tense
interpersonal dynamics and problem behavior during the
meeting.
 Problematic behaviors should be addressed politely but
directly to minimize the negative impact of the participant’s
behavior on the meeting dynamic.
 Lively, respectful discussion and disagreement should be
encouraged and facilitated, even though disagreement
sometimes increases tension.
 A skillful leader can relieve tension with humor and
establish a culture of mutual respect, integrity, and civility.
 Dominating conversations, and vague or unclear
contributions, can be handled with a brief, polite redirection,
or request for clarification.
CONCLUSION
 Effective School meetings do not just happen, they are
designed.
 A meeting would be considered as effective when it achieves
its objectives.
 It is an established fact that meetings in any organization
are important.
 But if these meetings are not conducted properly then it may
not be fruitful and will be merely a time-wasting activity.
 Poorly planned or ineffectively conducted meetings can be
unproductive, stressful, or boring.
 The difference between an ineffective meeting and a
productive meeting is also in the behavior of those planning
and leading the meetings.
 School Heads should be trained to learn the new methods of
management and how to plan, organize and evaluate the
meetings that are held in schools, and how to manage the
dialogue and discussion with high efficiency and gain time
management skill.
 Effective school meetings can help solve problems efficiently
and effectively, develop stronger bonds between team
members and provide better care for students.
TEMPLATE
FOR THE
MINUTES OF
A SCHOOL
MEETING
 School / Organization:
 Committee Name:
 Date/Time/Place:
 Attendees:
 Leave of Absence: Apologies received from …… are accepted & leave of absence
granted.
 Absentees:
 ……… no. of members present & quorum established.
 Chaired by:
 Facilitator:
AGENDA:
1. Opening prayers & welcome
2. Approval of minutes from the last meeting.
3. Business arising from the last minutes.
4. Report of Action taken on the decisions from the last meeting.
5. Continue agenda in order.
6. ….
7. ….
8. Any other matter with the permission of the Chair:
The following are the points discussed & the decisions taken.
 …..
 …..
9. Summarizing the main decisions & the action points.
10. Planned next Meeting: Date / Time / Place
11. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned with the permission of the chair at …. PM with thanks.
Minutes prepared by: Approved by:
(Name & Sign.) (Name & Sign.)
Hon. Secretary Chairman
THANK YOU

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Conducting Effective School Meetings - Najma Kazi

  • 2. INTRODUCTION • Hindle (1998) defines a Meeting as two or more people coming together at a prearranged time and place to resolve problems or make decisions. • Formal meetings are held at definite times, at definite places, and usually for definite durations to follow an agreed-upon agenda • Informal meetings might occur almost anywhere and usually do not have an explicit planned agenda. • The job of the Head of the institution is primarily ' Making Decisions, Implementing, Supervising & Reporting' either individually or collectively. • The collective decision making involves forums like School Committee, Staff, PTA, Transport & other Committees. • Meetings are most important tributaries of enriching the experiences, enhancing the abilities, and developing the performance of the stakeholders. • The success of such meeting depends on the understanding of the purpose and the ability to plan and manage them.
  • 3. PURPOSE OF THE SCHOOL MEETINGS  Solving specific problems of stakeholders  Recruitments  Approval of financial matters  Generating new ideas & Innovations  Communication and Co-ordination  Making/ Implementing Policies  Review & Feedback of Programs & Projects  Promotion & upgrading  Academic, Administrative & Financial Planning  Motivation & Recognition  Professional Development  Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness  Brings a wide variety of voices and collective wisdom to bear on important issues, problems and challenges facing workplace.
  • 4. AREAS OF ORGANISING MEETINGS A. Before the meeting (Pre-Planning) B. During the meeting (Execution) C. After the meeting (Follow-up)
  • 5. (A) BEFORE THE MEETING (PRE- PLANNING)  Decide the Date, Time & Venue.  Prepare the Agenda.  Notice to members of the Committee informing the venue, date, time & agenda of the meeting well in advance.  Minutes of the last meeting along with Action Taken Report.  Signature to be obtained on Notice/ Circular.  Make the physical setting comfortable.  Assign duties to Teaching & Non -Teaching Staff (Minute writer, cleaning & setting of the place, Refreshments, Stationery, Technology etc.)  Brief account / Notes of agenda to be discussed should be kept ready.  Points to be discussed during any other matter to be kept ready.
  • 6. DEVELOPIN G THE MEETING AGENDA  Organizing a meeting needs an advanced decision about the items that are going to be discussed in the meeting. The list of such items is termed as agenda. A quality meeting agenda should include the following:  The overall purpose of the meeting in clearly written sentences.  A note on who is required to attend.  The projected time span of the meeting.  The location of the meeting.  Any special resources that participants should bring.  Any advance preparation that is required.  The names of the Chairman, recorder, and timekeeper for the meeting.  Agenda items, preferably including questions to encourage advance reflection program along with the projected time span for discussing each item.
  • 7. SOME ELEMENTS OF THE AGENDA  Opening Formalities  Apologies  Confirmation of Minutes  Business Arising from the Minutes  Secretary’s Report  Academic Decisions  Administrative problems & solutions  Resolutions  Selection & Recruitments  Special Reports  Financial Decisions  Upgradations & Promotions  Acknowledgements & Appreciations  Making Rules & Regulations  Enquiry & Punishments  General Business  Any other matter with the permission of the Chair  Summarizing the decisions taken  Date of next meeting  Close of meeting
  • 8. (B) DURING THE MEETING: CONDUCT OF THE MEETING  The overall manner, spirit, and tone in which the school meetings are conducted, is critical to achieving meaningful participation and productive outcomes.  The preparation beforehand makes it easier to execute the meeting.  During the meeting, it is necessary to not lose track.  Keep the focus on the agenda as well as on the time.  Cover up all the crucial topics.  Summarize everything discussed at the end to clear any queries.  The close of the meeting is just as important as the opening of the meeting to provide task clarification and summaries
  • 9. GUDELINES FOR SMOOTH CONDUCT OF THE MEETING  Be punctual & begin on time, keep attendance record / Apologies if any.  Deal with the agenda in a business- like manner.  State & explain the objectives & brief account of each item for discussion.  Encourage free & frank discussion.  Accept constructive suggestions & contributions.  Clarify & interpret statements wherever necessary.  Sum up at the conclusion of each discussion & state what has / has not been agreed.  Keep the discussion on the right line through out the meeting.  Indicate what action need to be taken & by whom & when it is required to be completed & make sure it is recorded in the minutes.  Maintain Decorum.  End on time Highlight the solutions presented & decisions made.
  • 10. [C] AFTER THE MEETING: FOLLOW UP (i) Writing Minutes (ii) Communication & Implementation of Decisions (iii) Action taken Report. (i) Writing Minutes:  During the meeting, the items listed in the agenda are discussed serially one by one.  All the participants express their view / opinion & discuss amongst themselves the pros & cons of each item.  Finally, they arrive at some conclusion or decisions which are kept on official record.  Thus, the minutes are the formal record of the proceedings of the meeting.  For the sake of accuracy, minutes should be written as soon after the meeting as possible, when the details are still fresh in the mind.  Preferably minutes should be circulated within a week of the meeting being held.  Prompt circulation of the minutes alerts people who have been assigned tasks into early action and swiftly brings up to date those who missed the meeting.  Note points for action (and the person responsible) that need to be followed up between meetings.  Make a note of items requiring long-term attention.
  • 11. [C] AFTER THE MEETING: FOLLOW UP The minutes of a meeting must contain:  Date & No. of Meeting.  A list of the names who attended the meeting.  A list of absentees or Apologies.  Record of confirmations of the previous minutes & any amendment agreed to by the committee.  Discussion about business arising from the last minutes.  The essential relevant background to the topic under discussion  A summary of the discussion.  A clear record of the decisions reached; resolution passed & names of individual / committee responsible for taking subsequent action.  The minutes should be signed by the chairperson.  Copies of the minutes should be circulated to all concerned persons.
  • 12. [C] AFTER THE MEETING: FOLLOW UP (ii) Communication & Implementation:  Decisions / Resolutions passed in the meeting should be conveyed separately & clearly to the concerned persons. The decisions taken should be implemented & properly recorded. (iii)Action Taken Report:  The Action Taken Report should be prepared highlighting the process, impact & feedback for each of the decisions & the same be presented in the subsequent meeting under the agenda Action Taken Report.
  • 13. WHY MEETINGS FAIL?  Lack of clarity regarding the purpose of the meeting.  Not planning well in advance.  All points of discussions are not included in Agenda.  Minutes are not properly recorded.  Conflict of opinions creating policy paralysis.  Decision not conveyed to the concerned staff.  Diversion from the agenda during discussions.  Not adhering to time schedule.  Not creating a welcoming atmosphere.  Focusing on problems, not solutions.  Being too leader centric.
  • 14. BASIC GROUND RULES FOR ORGANISER S  Respect people’s time. Start and end meetings on time.  Choose the right time & location.  Develop and circulate the Notice & agenda well in advance.  Check technological equipment or online meeting platforms prior to the meeting.  Plan for a backup in case of malfunctions or difficulty with the meeting platform.  Designate a facilitator responsible for ensuring the meeting stays on track.  Establish a common understanding of the problem, issue, or question to be addressed.  Establish and follow joint ground rules and develop a common understanding of the process.  Keep the ground rules always posted.  Promote shared decision making.  Follow the Agenda.  Take minutes properly.  Promote a positive climate.  Build in time for information sharing.  Build in Social Time.  Periodically evaluate the effectiveness of the meetings.  Always end meetings on time and on a positive note.  Before closing, review actions and assignments.  Set the date, time & place for the next meeting.  Meeting minutes and/or actions should be reported to members at the earliest.
  • 15. MEETING EVALUATION CHECKLIST  Participants were notified in advance and given a pre- arranged agenda.  The meeting started and ended on time.  The purpose for the meeting was made clear.  There was a transition from the last meeting.  One topic and one person had the floor at a time.  The meeting facilitator summarized the main points of the discussion.  Everyone was clear as to what action items they were responsible for.  Everyone participated and expressed their thoughts.  Plans for the next meeting were arranged.  Minutes were distributed within a few days of the meeting.
  • 16. BASIC GROUND RULES FOR MEETING PARTICIPANT S It pays to establish a few basic ground rules that can be used for most of the meetings. These ground rules cultivate the basic ingredients needed for a successful meeting.  Review the meeting invitation and agenda in advance.  Show up on time and come prepared.  Stay mentally and physically present.  Eliminate distractions & off task behaviour.  Avoid interrupting, apologize when it happens inadvertently.  Contribute to the meeting goals.  Let everyone participate.  Listen with an open mind.  Respect other member’s opinion.  Think before speaking.  Stay on point and on time.  Attack the problem, not the person.  Volunteer for relevant tasks.  Close decisions and identify action items.  Record outcomes and follow up.
  • 17. ROLE OF THE MEETING LEADER  Of prime importance for the success of any meeting is the attitude and leadership of the Chairperson.  In a meeting, the chairperson is the leader and, as such, must perform the same function as the leader of any working group.  For the conduct of a successful meeting the leader’s attitude & efficiency from the beginning statement through the entire discussion are critically important.  The leader should be well Prepared, be able to think & act quickly, get along with others, respect their opinions, know objectives of discussion & the reasoning process, be patient & have a sincere interest in the values of co- operative group action.
  • 18. ROLE OF THE MEETING LEADER For a meeting to be effective, the Chairperson must:  Plan, organise and control the discussion of subjects on the agenda.  Maintain the group by encouraging and developing harmonious relationships.  Motivate the individuals by encouraging all to contribute, rewarding their efforts and supporting them in any difficulties.  The meeting leader is ultimately responsible for managing disrupting behaviors and responding in ways that keep the meeting on track.  The meeting leader may need to manage tense interpersonal dynamics and problem behavior during the meeting.  Problematic behaviors should be addressed politely but directly to minimize the negative impact of the participant’s behavior on the meeting dynamic.  Lively, respectful discussion and disagreement should be encouraged and facilitated, even though disagreement sometimes increases tension.  A skillful leader can relieve tension with humor and establish a culture of mutual respect, integrity, and civility.  Dominating conversations, and vague or unclear contributions, can be handled with a brief, polite redirection, or request for clarification.
  • 19. CONCLUSION  Effective School meetings do not just happen, they are designed.  A meeting would be considered as effective when it achieves its objectives.  It is an established fact that meetings in any organization are important.  But if these meetings are not conducted properly then it may not be fruitful and will be merely a time-wasting activity.  Poorly planned or ineffectively conducted meetings can be unproductive, stressful, or boring.  The difference between an ineffective meeting and a productive meeting is also in the behavior of those planning and leading the meetings.  School Heads should be trained to learn the new methods of management and how to plan, organize and evaluate the meetings that are held in schools, and how to manage the dialogue and discussion with high efficiency and gain time management skill.  Effective school meetings can help solve problems efficiently and effectively, develop stronger bonds between team members and provide better care for students.
  • 20. TEMPLATE FOR THE MINUTES OF A SCHOOL MEETING  School / Organization:  Committee Name:  Date/Time/Place:  Attendees:  Leave of Absence: Apologies received from …… are accepted & leave of absence granted.  Absentees:  ……… no. of members present & quorum established.  Chaired by:  Facilitator: AGENDA: 1. Opening prayers & welcome 2. Approval of minutes from the last meeting. 3. Business arising from the last minutes. 4. Report of Action taken on the decisions from the last meeting. 5. Continue agenda in order. 6. …. 7. …. 8. Any other matter with the permission of the Chair: The following are the points discussed & the decisions taken.  …..  ….. 9. Summarizing the main decisions & the action points. 10. Planned next Meeting: Date / Time / Place 11. Adjournment: Meeting adjourned with the permission of the chair at …. PM with thanks. Minutes prepared by: Approved by: (Name & Sign.) (Name & Sign.) Hon. Secretary Chairman