8 steps to run a solution circle with your team leaders

Bernie Callanan

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Julia Clements from Place2Be facilitated the running of solutions circles with our Year 7 team this week. I found it to be a useful strategy which doesn’t take much time. I have put together a summary of how you might choose to run one within your own setting.

If you find yourself in a situation which requires a quick and straight-forward solution then follow this 8-step system:

1. Arrange a meeting for all the staff at your school. It could be all the teachers of a student, or a year team etc.

2. Move the desks and arrange the seating so you're all in a circle. This helps create a sense of togetherness and openness which is useful for the efficiency of this process.

3. Assign 3 roles within your team. 1. The Facilitator. This role requires you to keep timings and people on the topic in-hand. 2. The Presenter. This role requires you to explain the problem in depth. 3. The Recorder. This individual keeps notes on the main points covered (visually on a flip chart is ideal).

4. The Presenter will first explain the problem uninterrupted for 5 minutes. If they’ve finished explaining prior to the end, leave them to think. The Recorder summarises the main points after.


5. All other participants have the same length of time to offer solutions and positive next steps. No this isn't a session for moaning; it is purely solution-focused.

6. 5 minutes is then allocated for the presenter to reflect on suggestions, clarify queries and to explore any ideas further.

7. This is where you all as a tea, agree on the next steps forward with one action to be implemented within the next 24 hours. A member of the circle will be nominated to request an update after a given period, which they then share with the group. The Recorder gives The Presenter their notes.

8. The end of the session is dedicated to time purely to reflect on the experience.

It takes just 20 minutes of your time, which in your long teaching day, is hardly anything. A short amount of time is spent but you leave with tangible outcomes.


About our Community Expert


Bernie Callanan


Over 10 years of SEN experience in a number of settings. Developed whole-school approaches to ensure students with SEN are catered with the support they need.

Placing the student with SEN at the heart of all decisions made regarding their education, whilst liaising with all stakeholders involved.

Bernie is our education expert who provides SEN related content.

Opogo is a community platform designed to help schools attract and retain the talent that’s right for them. Our social hub is packed with rich content from our community experts. And through our ever-evolving Smart Match technology, teachers can be booked for work simply and quickly.

Sign up for FREE