The Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006 has changed the arrangements for parental representation in all schools. Since August 2007, every parent of a pupil attending school is automatically a member of the Parent Forum for that school (parent includes guardians, carers and any one who has care of the child or young person). The Parent Forum can then choose to be represented by a 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 Parent Council get involved in includes:
- Supporting the work of the school
- Promoting contact between the school, parents, pupils and the local community
- Organising social and fundraising events
- Appointing senior school staff
- Discussing topics of interest to parents
Generally members of the Parent Council must be parents/carers of children who attend the school and the chairperson must have a child in the school. However, the Parent Council can decide to co-opt other members including school staff and community representatives who have knowledge and skills to help them.
Fife Council’s Education and Learning Directorate works well with the Scottish Parent Teacher Council (SPTC) and all Fife Parent Council’s have a membership of the SPTC. Information on the benefits of this membership can be found by accessing the SPTC website http://www.sptc.info.
Information sessions for Parent Councils take place in a range of school venues across Fife. Details of these sessions are sent to Parent Council Chairs directly or passed on to them by schools.
For more information about parental involvement or Pupil Councils, contact the Headteacher of your school. Another helpful source of information for parents is Education Scotland’s parentzone website.