Parent councils

What is a parent council?

A parent council is a voluntary body that's linked to a specific school. Its role is to represent parents' views and make sure the school takes these into account.

Although a parent council's main members will always be parents and carers, it can also include:

  • school staff
  • people from the local community
  • someone from a church or denominational body that's linked to the school

What does a parent council do?

How parent councils work and what they do will vary from school to school. However, in all cases, a parent council will:

  • identify the views of all parents, and make sure they're represented
  • work with the school to create a welcoming, inclusive place for all parents
  • promote partnership between the school, pupils, parents and local community

Parent councils are also consulted whenever a school decides to appoint a new headteacher or deputy headteacher. If the appointment process involves a recruitment panel, some parent council members will usually sit on this.

In some cases, a parent council might arrange activities that support pupils' education and welfare. This could involve holding:

  • fundraisers
  • social events

How you can get involved

If you're interested in joining a parent council, ask your child's school for more information.

How you can find out more

General information on parent councils

The Scottish Government has published guidance on its main site and Parentzone Scotland.

Parentzone Scotland information on parent councils

Scottish Government guidance on the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006

Minutes of Parent Council and ASN Reference Group held on Tuesday 27 September 2022

Parent councils and 'promoted post' appointments

Our Schools, Learning and Education team has produced guidance that explains:

  • what happens when a school wants to fill a 'promoted post' like headteacher or deputy headteacher
  • how the appointment process works
  • the role of parent council members in this process

This guidance is outlined in a Local Negotiating Committees for Teachers agreement about promoted posts.

Appointment procedures guidance for promoted posts

Insurance for parent councils

Our Schools, Learning and Education team has produced guidance on:

  • what sort of parent council activities need public liability insurance
  • how parent councils are insured

Guidance for parent councils on public liability insurance