Tips for Boards and Committees

General

  • Know your obligations
    • Are you acting in an advisory capacity?
    • Are you making decisions?
  • Act in the best interest of the School / Organisation
    • Leave your parent hat at the door
    • Ask yourself why are you on this board / committee

Meetings

  • Schedule meetings in advance
  • Appoint a Chair for running the meetings and a Secretary to take minutes and actions
  • Set an agenda prior to the meeting
    • Distribute the agenda five days before for feedback
    • Stick to the agenda and agenda times
    • Decisions should be first item on the agenda after the standing items
  • Send out any papers at least five days before
    • Preparation is key
    • Read papers prior to the meeting
    • Papers should be taken as read in the meeting and where possible not presented as part of the meeting 
    • Papers should be brief and comprehensible
      • State objective of the paper
      • Decision required
      • Information to support decision making – meaningful not just data or a story
      • Consistency of format 
  • Read any papers prior to the meetings
    • Helps meetings run efficiently
    • Shows respect for the author
  • Attendance
    • If you miss two or more meetings in a row – consider your commitment
  • Declare any conflicts, no matter how small
    • Leaves no room for accusations of nepotism
    • Allows for open decision making
    • Ensure that the school the same especially in small communities where it is possible that the local plumber is the partner of a staff member
  • Make decisions with care and diligence.
    • Have you received enough information to make an informed decision?
    • Is the proposal in line with the strategic plan and the culture and values of the school?
    • Have all the risks been considered and mitigated? (Front Page Test)
    • Are there any financial impacts?
    • Have alternatives been explored?
  • Ensure everyone is included in discussions
  • Meetings should be no longer that two hours
    • Remember the average adult attention span is 10-20 minutes
  • Mobile devices should be off the table 
    • Ensures that everyone is mentally present as well as physically present