Section 28 –Vacancies for parent members of School Board
60.Under section 2 of the School Boards (Scotland) Act 1988 each School Board consists of staff members, co-opted members and parent members, the latter being elected by parents of pupils in attendance at the school. Under sections 2A and 2B, parent members are elected at regular elections (held every two years). In the event of no parents, or not enough parents, being elected at such an election, a by-election is held. If not enough parents are elected at a by-election, the Board may co-opt up to two parent members from amongst the parents of pupils at the school. If a vacancy for a parent member arises in between regular elections, a by-election is held within three months if the Board requests it, or else at the next regular election period (which is between 1 September and 30 November each year). If no parent is elected at such a by-election, the Board may co-opt a parent member (as long as there are no more than two co-opted parent members on the Board at any one time).
61.Section 28 of the Act amends the existing requirement to hold a by-election to fill parental vacancies on a School Board which arise either following a regular election of parent members, or during members’ term of office.
62.Subsection (1) provides that if a vacancy arises during a parent member’s term of office, a by-election shall not take place unless 30 parents, or a quarter of the electoral roll, whichever is the smaller number, sign a request for a by-election to fill the casual vacancy within two months of the vacancy being announced. If no request is made, the Board can co-opt a parent member under section 2B(3) of the 1988 Act, as substituted by paragraph 4 of schedule 1 to the Act. The subsection also provides that the education authority will take reasonable steps to notify parents that a vacancy has arisen and the circumstances in which a by-election will be held.
63.In relation to a regular election of parent members, which is held for half the parent members every two years, subsection (2) provides that a by-election shall no longer be held. This means that at a regular election, if not enough parents are elected to fill vacancies for parent members, the Board can go straight to co-opt up to two parent members in terms of section 2A(4) of the 1988 Act, as substituted by paragraph 3 of schedule 1 to the Act.
64.Necessary consequential amendments to the School Boards legislation are included in schedule 1.