News

School Meetings: Be Prepared!

September 12, 2018

 

Many foster carers attend meetings with schools as part of their role.  The below list is a reflection of all the things that I have found useful over the years, from the meetings I’ve attended.  I hope these points will act as a guide and a checklist for other foster carers, and support them in the future, when preparing for a meeting. 

 

  • Write a list of questions you want answered.

  • Ensure you will be speaking to someone who can make things change or implement new ideas (Deputy Head, Assistant Head, Head of Year (minimum)).

  • Ensure you have the contact details of people in the meeting.

  • Take notes at any meetings, who is doing what and by when, and why.

  • Don’t be afraid to speak.  If necessary take a deep breath.

  • Ensure your facts are correct, if in doubt say I believe, I was told, I understood.

  • Always chase up actions not completed by the school, and let the school know of results you have.

  • Ensure you action anything you say you are going to do or let someone know why it is not happening.

  • Take social workers along to meetings.

  • Keep your social worker updated.

  • Be prepared to take managers along to meetings.

  • Befriend receptionists – they can often get you in at short notice.

  • Be prepared to acknowledge your child is not always co-operative at school.

  • Sanctions/consequences for actions that happen in school stay in school.

  • Let your child know when you are going to school and why.

  • When incidents have occurred ensure you have all the details.  Names, places, actions etc.

  • Be prepared to defend or acknowledge your child’s actions.

  • Be prepared to explain actual age vs emotional age or developmental age.

  • Ensure your logs reflect the meeting accurately.

  • If you don’t understand something, ask.  School speak takes some getting used to.

  • Try and foster a good relationship with the school, however, your child comes first and if necessary, sacrifice the relationship for the good of the child.

  • Any child can go to any school by law.

  • Know your rights.  

 

 

Advice for young people in meetings is also available in the Getting Your Voice Heard in Your Review Meeting guide - for more details click here