Parental Involvement Act 2006
Changes have recently been made to the law to help parents and schools work together as partners in children's learning. The Scottish Government has passed the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 to encourage and support more parents to become involved.
The Parent Forum and the Parent Council
The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 has changed the arrangements for parental representation in all schools. Since August 2007, all parents/carers are automatically members of the Parent Forum for their school and they have a right to establish a Parent Council to represent them.
The membership of the Parent Forum is made up of all parents/carers who have a child at an education authority school. Membership of the Parent Forum allows parents/carers to have a say in the local arrangements to enable their collective view to be represented on matters such as the quality and standards of education at the school and other matters of interest to parents/carers. One of the ways parents in the Parent Forum will be able to express their views will be through the Parent Council.
The Parent Council is a group of parents selected by members of the Parent Forum to represent all the parents of children at the school. Parent Councils are very flexible groups and the Parent Forum can decide on the type of group it wants to represent their views. The type of things a Parent Council could get involved in include:
- supporting the work of the school
- gathering and representing parents' views to the Head Teacher, Education Authority and Education Scotland
- promoting contact between the school, parents, pupils and the local community
- involvement in the appointment of senior school staff
Parent Councils are recognised in law from August 2007. As a statutory body, the Parent Council has the right to information and advice on matters which affect children's education. So, the school and the local authority must listen to what the Parent Council says and give it a proper response. Every school's Parent Council will be different because it will be parents in each school who make the key decisions.
Copies of the 'Parents as Partners in their Children's Learning' Toolkit have been sent to all schools and contains a step-by-step guide on setting up a Parent Council. The Parent Council is also entitled to support from the education authority in fulfilling its role and East Lothian Council is proud of the strong parental partnership that has been established following the new legislation and the introduction of the East Lothian Association of Parent Council Members which meets termly.
East Lothian Association of Parent Council blog (can only be accessed by parent council members)