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PARENTS URGED TO GET INVOLVED WITH THEIR CHILDREN'S SCHOOLING

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School boards provide a valuable platform for parents to get directly involved in the running of their schools, Bri...
School boards provide a valuable platform for parents to get directly involved in the running of their schools, Brian Wilson, Scottish education minister, said this week.

The minister was commenting on the publication of a Scottish Office leaflet aimed at encouraging parents to become involved in the forthcoming school board elections which are being organised from September 1st, 1997.

Mr Wilson said:

'Supportive parental involvement is fundamental to the well- being of any successful school. school boards are established in the majority of Scottish schools and currently provide parents with a good opportunity to get more directly involved in their children's education.

'At their best school boards can provide parents with a meaningful say in the running of schools. They represent a valuable partnership between pupils, parents, staff and the local community working together for the benefit of the school. The next round of board elections due to start on 1 September will give parents across Scotland a real opportunity to get involved.

'At some point we may wish to change the format of school boards to reflect the growing importance of the role which we believe parents and others should play in our children's education. But the principle of supportive parental involvement in schools is fundamental. School boards currently present the opportunity for parents to play their part and as such have an important role to play.

'We shall issue a consultation document about the future of school boards in the weeks to come.'

NOTES

1. School Boards were introduced in 1989 following the implementation of the School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988. Section 1 of the Act obliges education authorities to establish a School Board for each school in their area, subject to discretion not to establish a Board in limited circumstances set out in section 20 of the Act. Around three quarters of public schools in Scotland currently have School Boards.

2. Changes to the 1988 Act introduced by the Education (Scotland) Act 1996 introduced a 'regular election period' for the main biennial parental elections to School Boards. Main elections to School Boards are to be held between 1 September and 30 November in every second year from 1997.

3. Parents will be notified by the education authority for their area about School Board elections for their school. The leaflet advises parents how they can become involved, either by standing for election to their School Board or by voting in the forthcoming elections. Among their duties, Boards are involved in the appointment of senior staff at their school and have responsibilities to promote good relations with the local community and to encourage the wider community use of school facilities out of normal hours.

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