What is the role of a Parent Council?
Parent Councils help parents and carers to become more actively and effectively involved in their children’s learning. It is recognised that parents play an important role both in their own child’s learning and in the life of their school. Find out about various ways of getting involved in your child’s school.
Parent Councils are flexible and designed to make sure that they represent their school and its interests effectively. Parent members should decide what is most important for the Parent Council to work on.
Parent Councils can:
- provide a voice for parents, in schools and in their local authority, on issues that are important to them and their children
- help the school to understand how to most effectively involve parents in their children’s learning and in the life of the school
- support the school and headteacher in developing strong home/school partnerships
- support the school in its development and improvement, and in understanding and making links with the wider community
- capture the unique and varied skills, interests, knowledge and experience that parents can offer.
Working in partnership with the school
Your Parent Council helps to create an environment where all parents know that their views matter, and where they feel confident and comfortable putting them forward.
It is important that the Parent Council and the school have a joint commitment to seek parents’ views and ideas and to ensure that these make a real difference to the work and life of the school.
Sharing parents’ views with the head teacher and staff, and making sure those views are listened to and taken into account, will be possible if the Parent Council and the school have a positive working partnership.
Gathering and sharing parents’ views
Each school community is unique and there is a wide range of educational issues on which parents may wish to contribute their views. Areas in which parent views could be sought may include:
- How the school communicates with parents
- Supporting delivery of Curriculum for Excellence by tapping into parents’ skills, experiences and expertise
- The processes involved in preparing children for key transitions, such as from nursery to primary, primary to secondary and leaving school
- Discussing the opportunities available to children during key periods of their school career, such as the Senior Phase (S4-S6)
- Formulating the school’s priorities for improvement (the development of the School Improvement Plan)
- Revising existing school policies and introducing new policies
- Any significant changes (for example, moving to a new school building)
- Developing the School Handbook.
The Parent Council should have arrangements in place for gathering the views of members of the parent forum on the standards and quality of the education provided by their school, or on other matters that appear to them to be of interest or concern to members of the parent forum. This is covered in the Guidance on the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006: Section D (see section headed ‘Role of Parent Council’).
The Parent Council may also be involved in consulting the parent forum about the full range of school policies, for example in relation to uniform, drugs, school ethos, etc. It can collect the views of parents and report them to the head teacher of the school and to the local authority as appropriate. It can also make statements on such matters to other persons, including school inspectors. This is also covered in the ‘Guidance on the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006’, Section D (see section headed ‘Representing the views of parents’).
Resources for Parent Councils
PDF file: Parent Council Resource – A guide to gathering views and ensuring parents’ voices are heard in your school (415 KB)
PDF file: Parents as Partners – Information for Parent Council members (267 KB)
PDF file: Parents as Partners – The purpose and role of Parent Councils (211 KB)
PDF file: Parents as partners in their children’s learning toolkit (1 MB)
PDF file: Guidance on the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act (941 KB)
Date for next meetings and 2018 Conference
The next meeting in 2018 is scheduled to take place at Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Wed 28 February 2018, with Video Conferencing access at Portree and Wick Town Hall.
Agendas and Minutes are here
The HPCP conference this year is being planned for Saturday 17 November 2018, with venue to be decided but we hope to repeat the successful use of the Council chamber in Inverness, and also to be able to offer delegates some mileage-based travel cost reimbursement if Highland Council funding permits.