Staff meetings...how long do yours run on for?

(26 Posts)
JustBimblingAlong Fri 18-Nov-16 12:35:03

Shoot me down if I'm being too sensitive or unrealistic here, but I'm feeling increasingly resentful about the length of our staff meetings. I work full time in a school with leadership responsibilities plus other responsibilities. I'm in school from 7.30 until the caretaker bodily boots me out at 6 and I still work at least 3 hours a night on top, plus one full day at the weekend, sometimes both!! Union guidelines 'advise' that meetings should take up no more than one hour per week...and yet ours last at least 2 and a half hours every single week. Is this normal? I've never experienced this in any other school I've worked in before...in fact most heads have gone out of their way to ensure meetings are kept as brief as possible so that we have time to do other more important things. Or at least time to mark in school so we don't then have to cart even more work home with us!! Thoughts? Am I expecting too much? These are not twilights by the way...just normal weekly staff meetings...the most recent twighlight was conducted by an external person and finished earlier than our usual staff meeting! Go figure!

Hulababy Fri 18-Nov-16 12:35:52

It all staff meetings are once a week and last ab hour. Everyone's pretty good at keeping to time so they rarely run over.

Minispringroll Fri 18-Nov-16 14:27:28

Used to be a member of SLT at a previous school, which meant in a week I was meant to attend staff meeting (from 3.30-5pm), SLT meeting (often until 6.30pm) and phase meetings (which often had no agenda and ran on until school got closed at 6pm). It was ridiculous and I've not had that at any other school I've ever worked at.
Current school has one staff meeting a week...3.30 until 4.30. That's it.

PurpleAlerts Fri 18-Nov-16 16:13:55

Our staff meetings are one hour a week and plenty of these are given over for time to do data drops, governor's reports, book looks, assessment etc. Occasionally special staff training may go over that time but that's usually for compulsory training such as Child protection. There is always an agenda and it is always adhered to.

SMT meetings are also kept to an hour at most and not every week.

In my last job it was very different... hours of pointless drivel that achieved nothing.

Ditsyprint40 Fri 18-Nov-16 18:26:35

Speak to your union - so many are working over directed time, and if you are you should challenge it!

DoctorDonnaNoble Fri 18-Nov-16 18:31:29

One full staff meeting a week. It is only for notices. 8:40-8:50. Occasionally runs slightly over. That's it. Outstanding school.

feelingdizzy Sat 19-Nov-16 10:17:30

I'm DHT at a large primary,I have SLT weekly which lasts 2 hours, staff meeting 2 hours,I manage SFL another bloody weekly meeting!

SnugglySnerd Sat 19-Nov-16 10:19:58

Once a week for an hour. No meeting if we have something else like parents evening that week.

Lara2 Sat 19-Nov-16 11:07:55

Interestingly some of us have been having this conversation at work. We have staff meeting 3.30-5.00 every week, phase meeting every week 3.30-5.00, and a 20 minutes weekly briefing one morning a week before school. SLT (I'm not) also meet every week for at least 1 and a half hours. Our phase meetings used to be a once a fortnight catch up, organisational things, and a gossip - they usually lasted about an hour (depended on how long the biscuits lasted!). Some of us are pretty pissed off at so many meetings that really seem pointless most of the time.
One of the SLT was listening to one of the conversations and said that all schools do this. We said that it was way beyond directed time and effectively they are telling us to work for free. She just kept reiterating what she had said. Total nightmare!

BizzyFizzy Sat 19-Nov-16 14:43:20

We have a staff meeting once a week during break time which lasts for 30 minutes. We also have timetabled meetings for departments and committees.

If we need an extra meeting, we pick a breaktime and have it then - maximum 30 minutes.

noblegiraffe Sat 19-Nov-16 14:58:35

We have max one after school meeting per week (so in a week where there is a parents evening there won't be a meeting), which finishes after an hour (or at least if it drags on a bit longer you can leave after an hour without anyone batting an eyelid). This might be a whole staff meeting, a team meeting or a year group meeting.

Phineyj Sat 19-Nov-16 15:02:11

Outstanding school - one 20 min break time briefing weekly plus faculty meetings now and again, but they have tight agendas.

DanyellasDonkey Sat 19-Nov-16 17:10:53

Ours are usually on a Monday for an hour but don't have them if there are Parents' night or reports to write. Our HT is pretty good at sticking to one hour.

In my last school they were meant to be 3.30-5.00 and I used to get up and leave at 5 as I had kids to collect but the rest of the staff wouldn't and then moaned next day that the head had kept them there till nearly 6pm.

phlebasconsidered Sat 19-Nov-16 22:07:38

Old head: one staff meeting, one hour.
New head: staff meeting goes on for longer than an hour, morning briefings every morning, TA meetings that mean they are out of class, team meeting every bloody week, lunchtime briefings.

And the second head is not the better one. The more organised the SLT, the less time that spend making the rest of us keep about on meeting strings.

Jaimx86 Sat 19-Nov-16 22:12:11

Unless you're SLT, that seems like an awful amount of work.

DanyellasDonkey Sat 19-Nov-16 22:46:50

In our school nobody would agree to meetings at lunchtimes. Some staff go home for lunch and I don't think you have to be on the premises through the lunch break.

DoctorDonnaNoble Sun 20-Nov-16 08:03:31

What on earth gets discussed in this weekly meetings that last over an hour!

Rainbowcolours1 Sun 20-Nov-16 18:03:40

We have staff meetings every other week from 3.45 - 5.00, they alternate with key stage meetings. SLT meet fortnightly, same time. Staff meetings are sometimes in school work like assessment, moderation etc or led by an outside provider or member of staff. In all cases if there is no need for a meeting then they don't happen. Briefing is 20 minutes from 8.15 once a week...subject matter is more motivational and fun and usually includes breakfast.

JustBimblingAlong Sun 20-Nov-16 20:58:58

Thank you for your replies...it's very enlightening to hear all the different ways that meetings are scheduled/organised.

I'm not SLT, so no, this is just our 'ordinary' weekly staff meeting. The agenda is always absolutely crammed (at least 7 items, usually with two really 'meaty' ones such as a writing moderation or a major maths input of some sort, which in their own right should be the only item on the agenda after the housekeeping items). Staff (including me) have asked about the timings and have been told that these meetings are useful staff development and we should (to paraphrase!) be grateful that we are being provided with the opportunities! Whilst I appreciate that 'some' of these things might be useful, the majority really are not and we all feel that they are just there to tick a box somewhere else.

We've also mentioned the Union guidelines on the one hour maximum for meetings, work/life balance and our already huge workload, but get stonewalled.

I guess I just needed to vent, and to hear that a) I'm not alone...others are feeling the same pressures, and conversely, b) hopefully even more are having a better experience and work in schools where heads appreciate that well-being is important. I'm glad to read that b) seems to be winning!

ladygracie Sun 20-Nov-16 21:31:17

Our weekly staff meetings last 150 years. Well it feels that way. They run from 12-1.30 weekly but always start late because the person running the meeting has to heat up their lunch first. They don't teach so could easily do this earlier. Then we have to wait for the agenda to print out. Also could have been done before the meeting. Then we always overrun. And I do the minutes so have to wolf down my lunch in the 10 mins before we start. We also have a half termly whole school meeting that lasts 1 hour.

JustBimblingAlong Sun 20-Nov-16 21:49:02

I would gladly swap your 12 to 1.30 weekly meetings for our 3.30 to 6pm weekly meetings ladygracie :-) And I'm being conservative with the 6pm...it's often 6.15 or 6.30, which takes us to the mammoth '3 hour' mark!

Although, to be fair, if I DID swap with you, my class would be without a teacher for half an hour as they come back in from lunch at 1.00 :-)))

DoctorDonnaNoble Mon 21-Nov-16 06:01:49

I still don't understand how there can.m be enough for a whole school staff meeting to last that long weekly. That sounds like a training session not a staff meeting. Surely a staff meeting (whole school) is to provide information. We also have tutor team and departmental meetings where relevant. We never meet for longer than an hour. How are you meant to mark if you have a three hour meeting after school!

HorridHenrietta2 Mon 21-Nov-16 07:06:09

We have one staff meeting that lasts an hour (ish!) plus a short one on Monday morning. They do constantly try to push things by organising "voluntary but encouraged " second staff meetings each week. Ie we can't make you go but we can find reasons to make your life hard if you consistently refuse them.
I think you have to stick together and be prepared to get your Union reps in if you really want things to change. It's not easy though!

peanutbear Mon 21-Nov-16 19:33:11

SEN school one meeting a week 1 hour and 10 minutes notices meeting on a morning 8:30 - 8:45
We occasionally stay until 5 once every couple of months for external training.

ladygracie Mon 21-Nov-16 20:07:00

Our meetings last so long because we talk about the same things each week. Also everything is discussed in minute detail.

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