Section 7 – Restrictions as to composition and chairing of a Parent Council
26.Section 7 sets out who can be a member of a Parent Council and who can chair it.
27.Section 7(1) sets out the general position, which is that the members of the Parent Council for a school must be members of the school’s Parent Forum, that is, all parents of pupils at the school. Provision is also made for other persons to be co-opted to the council if the constitution of the council allows.
28.Particular legislative provisions apply to denominational schools under the management of education authorities which do not apply to other public schools, concerning the role of the relevant church or denominational body. Section 7(2) provides that, in a denominational school, the Parent Council’s constitution must allow for at least one co-opted member nominated by the church or denominational body in whose interest the denominational school is conducted. This means that where a Parent Council is established for a denominational school then the council will need to include a representative of the relevant church or denominational body.
29.Section 7(3) defines the term ‘denominational school’ by reference to the relevant provisions of the 1980 Act. Section 16 of the 1980 Act deals with denominational schools under the management of an education authority having been transferred to the authority from a church or other denominational body and section 17 deals with denominational schools set up by education authorities.
30.Subsection (4) provides that only a person who is a member of a school’s Parent Forum, that is, who is the parent of a child at the school, may chair that school’s Parent Council.