Estranged parents may come together in school for a variety of reasons. If a situation is likely to be awkward or volatile, some advance planning can help keep proceedings as comfortable as possible for all concerned.
You may find the following checklist helpful.
1. Date and time: are there timesd uring the day whentheparent ismore amenable?
2. Arrival and departure arrangements: will parents arrive at the same time and entrance? Will they be met and escorted to the meeting room?
3. The setting: is school the most appropriate place? Is it in a room that is conducive to the subject of the meeting? Is it close to other occupied rooms? Can a passer by see into the room?
4. Seating arrangements: does the placing of seats offer a level of protection to all involved, including staff? Where is the door in relation to the occupants of the room?
5. Numbers: too many people may not be productive and could make the meeting difficult to manage. However, an extra member of staff to take notes could be an advantage.
6. Agenda and boundaries: clarify what areas will be discussed and, if necessary, expectations of behaviour. The agenda will make it easier to keep the meeting on track and bring it to an end.
7. Keeping parents apart: where the presence of both parents at a meeting is likely to be counter-productive, consider separate meetings with each.
· Would theparents agree to attend the event at different times – matinee performance, dress rehearsals, alternative nights etc.
· Arrival and departure arrangements e.g. access and egress via different routes, accompanied on and off the school premises by a member of staff.
· Seating arrangements e.g. the possibility of separated seating, discrete supervision.
· What support is available in the event of an incident?
This advice is taken from NAHT's "Pupil and Parent Matters" publication.
Page Published: 01/11/2012