They are a necessary evil.
It's not just Woodford House either - it's epidemic proportions in education. When I was a Deputy Principal (and then Principal) I seemed to spend most of my time in meetings. It was a bit of a shock - I didn't realise that was what I'd signed up for. Pastoral meetings, Middle Management Meetings, strategic Senior Leadership meetings, department meetings, parent meetings, student at risk meetings...it was endless.
Now that I have more classes to teach I have less meetings but they still happen with alarming regularity.
So, bottom line - they can't be avoided.
Here then is a good list of five things that meetings should be addressing. I whittled down to this core list from a list of 15 things that was on Dan Rockwell's blog. Less is more Dan!:
It's pretty much the same template we used when I was a DP at Cambridge High School and that I instigated in strategic Senior Leadership Team meetings as a Principal. Same idea - slightly different language.
If you're going to have a meeting - than please - make it a focused one.