Parental involvement in schools

The National Parent Forum of Scotland (NPFS) has recently published the Review of the Impact of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006.

The Act aimed to achieve the involvement of parents across three priority areas in Scottish education:

  • learning at home - recognising the vital role that parents and careers play in children’s learning and development
  • home/school partnerships - reflecting the shared role and responsibility that schools, parents and the community have in working together to educate children
  • parental representation- replacing the school board structure framework to ensure parents have the opportunity to express views and have them taken into account on matters which affect their children’s education

This review gave an opportunity to take stock, and look at how current legislation fits with today's educational, political, economic and demographic landscape. NPFSfound a great deal has been achieved: the growth of parental involvement over the ten years is testimony to parent councils around the country, and the practitioners working with them. However, there is certainly more to be done, and NPFS hopes that this Review will enable all of us to continue to strive for a political and legislative environment which champions the voice of parents. While not every parent needs to sit on their parent council, every parent needs to feel engaged with their child's education and school so that the “excellence and equity” which the Improvement plan for Scottish education aims for can be achieved.

Recommendations have been made to Scottish Government, national agencies, local authorities and schools. Scottish Government has confirmed that it will consult on legislative changes in the autumn, acting on the key findings of the Review. New legislation will:

  • strengthen the duties on schools to ensure that parent councils play a full part in decision making in schools
  • expand relevant aspects of the Act to involve parents from early years settings
  • provide a stronger focus on parental engagement
  • improve and extend the duties on head teachers to engage the entire parent forum
  • include proposals to extend the links between parent councils and pupils

In addition, in response to findings that practical matters related to communication, learning at home and partnerships, could be improved, Scottish Government plans to give every school access to a ‘home to school link worker’ to support parents and families who feel excluded.

Scottish Government will respond to the other non-legislative recommendations in the autumn. In the meantime NPFS is working with partners such as ADES, COSLA and the unions to implement recommendations to local authorities and schools.

The full report can be read here:

If you'd like to obtain hard copies, or have any questions, please contact