The formal bit:

Parental Involvement Act 2006

The Act makes it a top priority for every education authority and every school to support the involvement of parents:

  • At home – by providing them with information on what their children are learning at school and how this can best be supported at home.
  • Through school – by providing them with opportunities to contribute to the life of the school eg. by helping out in the classroom, on school trips and at school events.
  • In a more formal way – by helping them to decide what kind of parent group the school should have.

Parent Forum

All parents/carers are members of the Parent Forum.

What does being a member of the Parent Forum mean?

As a member you can expect to:

  • Get information about what your child is learning
  • Get information about events and activities at the school
  • Get advice/help on how you can support your child’s learning
  • Be told about opportunities to be involved in the school
  • Have a say in selecting a Parent Council to work on behalf of parents at your school

Parent Council

At Firrhill High School, a new Parent Council was formed in September 2007. The Parent Council meets regularly and supports the delivery of a high quality educational experience for pupils within the school.

Parent Council Structure – Firrhill High School

Firrhill High School – Parent Council

  • 12 Parent Members (incl. 1 chair person)
  • 1 Head Teacher
  • 1 Teacher
  • 1 PTA Representative
  • 3 Ex officio members
  • 2 Co-opted members from the community

20 = normal membership of the Parent Council

Plus: Invited pupils (usually at the start of the meetings)
Councillors (invited to attend all meetings)

In addition to the Parent Council, the following bodies also exist:

The Firrhill High School Parent Teacher Association will continue with the same name and remit as at present.
Sub GroupsSub groups of the Parent Council will consider particular issues eg

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Business and Enterprise
  • Communication Group
  • Sports and extra-curricular
  • Environment Group
  • Curriculum Group

These sub-groups would generally consist of:

  • Parents and/or Staff members
  • Community representative
  • Parent Council member (to report back)

Note: If no Council member were on a sub group then 1 or 2 of its members would report to the Parent Council at a Council meeting


Firrhill High School Parent Council (FHSPC)

September 2010

For the purpose of this Constitution the term ‘parent’ is used to include any parent or
carer of a pupil(s) attending Firrhill High School. Any such parent or carer is a
member of the Parent Forum.

1. Key Aims and Objectives

1.1 The aims and objectives of the FHSPC are:
• To work in partnership with the school to create a welcoming school
which is inclusive for all parents;
• To develop and engage in activities which support the education and
welfare of the pupils;
• To identify and represent the views of parents on the education provided
by the school and other matters affecting the education and welfare of the
• To promote partnership between the school, its pupils and all its parents.

2. Membership

2.1 The membership of the FHSPC shall be a minimum of 6 and maximum of 12
parents of children attending the school. In addition, the membership will also
include any members co-opted (those invited to join the FHSPC by agreement
of the existing members) under paragraph 4 of this Constitution.

2.2 The Head Teacher of the school has a duty and a right to attend the meetings
of the Parent Council, or to be represented. The Head Teacher is the principal
advisor to, not a member of, the FHSPC.

3. Selection

3.1 The parent members of the FHSPC shall be selected for a period of three

3.2 New members of the FHSPC will be selected at the Annual General Meeting
(AGM) of the Parent Forum. Any parent of a child attending the school can
volunteer for selection either in person at the AGM, or by written notification
to the Head Teacher or Chair of the FHSPC.

3.3 In the event that, at the AGM, the number of volunteers exceeds the number
required to bring the parent membership up to 12, the new member(s) will be
selected by drawing names from a hat. The names of those not selected will
not be disclosed but will be retained on a reserve list by the Clerk to the

3.4 In the event that during the year the number of parent members falls to less
than 12, the FHSPC may invite a parent from the reserve list to fill the
vacancy. If there is no reserve list, any parent may be invited to fill the
vacancy. Any parent becoming a member of the FHSPC under this paragraph
will serve only until the next AGM.

3.5 In order to assist with its work and activities, the FHSPC may invite up to 3
additional parents to become ex-officio members of the FHSPC. Ex-officio
members of the FHSPC will serve only until the next AGM, but may be re-
appointed. Ex-officio members will not be entitled to vote on any matters.

3.6 In order to assist the work and activities of the FHSPC, a number of sub-
groups may be established. These may comprise any parents or carers of
pupils at FHS, pupils, members of the school staff and others from the local
community. There shall normally be a member of the FHSPC on each of these

4. Co-opted members

4.1 The FHSPC may invite further members to join the FHSPC as stipulated in
paragraphs 4.2 to 4.4.  All such co-opted members will serve until the
following AGM only, but may be co-opted again.

4.2 The FHSPC may co-opt up to four community representatives to assist it with
carrying out its functions.

4.3 The FHSPC will co-opt up to two members of the school staff, nominated by
the school, to assist it with carrying out its functions.

4.4 The FHSPC will co-opt one member of the Firrhill High School PTA,
nominated by the FHSPTA committee, to assist it with carrying out its

5 Attendance at FHSPC Meetings

5.1 All parents are welcome to attend meetings of the FHSPC. They will be able
to participate or comment at the discretion of the Chair, but will not be entitled
to vote.

5.2 Any member of the Parent Forum may request that a FHSPC member raise a
relevant issue on their behalf. Additionally, FHSPC members shall have the
right to raise relevant issues themselves.
5.3 Current pupils will not normally be invited to become co-opted members of
the FHSPC. A pupil or group of pupils may be invited to attend a Parent
Council meeting.

5.4 Locally elected Councillors will be invited to attend Parent Council meetings.
Local Councillors are not members of the FHSPC.

6 Office Bearers

6.1 The Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer of the Parent Council shall
be agreed by the members of the FHSPC at its first meeting following the
Parent Forum AGM.

6.2 The Chair of the Parent Council shall be a parent, not a co-opted member.

6.3 The FHSPC may appoint a Clerk to assist with organisation of its meetings.

7 Parent Forum Meetings

7.1 An Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Parent Forum will be held early in
the new school session, usually in September or October. All parents will be
invited to attend. Notification of the AGM will be sent to all parents at least 2
weeks prior to the date. The meeting will include:
• A report on the work of the Parent Council and its sub-group(s).
• Selection of new members of the Parent Council.

7.2 If at least 25 members of the Parent Forum request a Special General Meeting
to discuss issues falling within the FHSPC remit, the Parent Council shall
arrange this. At least 2 weeks notice will be given to all members of the Parent
Forum along with information on the matter(s) to be discussed.

8 Parent Council Meetings and Organisation

8.1 The FHSPC will meet at least once in every school term.

8.2       At all meetings of the FHSPC, 6 parent members shall be a quorum (the
minimum number of parent members that must be present to constitute a valid

8.3 Should a vote be necessary to make a decision, each Parent Council member at
the meeting will have one vote, with the Chair having the casting vote in the
event of a tie.

8.4 Any two members of the FHSPC can request that an additional meeting be
held, and all the members of the Parent Council will be given at least one
week’s notice of date, time and place of meeting.

8.5 If a member of the FHSPC acts in a way that is considered by other members
to undermine the objectives of the Parent Council, his/her membership of the
FHSPC shall be terminated if the majority of parent members agree.
Termination of membership would be confirmed in writing to the member.

8.6 The FHSPC may also terminate membership when it is satisfied that a member
has, without good cause, failed to attend at least three consecutive meetings.
Termination of membership would be confirmed in writing to the member.

9 Minutes

9.1 Copies of the minutes of the FHSPC meetings shall be made available to all
parents of the school and to staff at the school. Copies will be available from
the Secretary/Clerk to the Parent Council and from the school office.

10 Confidentiality

10.1 Meetings of the FHSPC shall be open to the public, unless the Parent Council
is discussing an issue it considers should be dealt with on a confidential basis.
In such circumstances, only members of the Parent Council and the Head
Teacher, or his or her representative, can attend. The FHSPC may invite
locally elected Councillors to such discussions.

11 Finances

11.1 The FHSPC may elect a Treasurer. The FHSPC may open a bank or building
society account in the name of the Parent Council if required. Withdrawals
will require the signature of the Treasurer and one other Parent Council

11.2 The Treasurer will keep an accurate record of any income and expenditure,
and will provide a summary of this at each Parent Council meeting and a full
account for the Parent Forum AGM.

11.3 Any Parent Council accounts will be independently audited and presented at
the Parent Forum AGM.

11.4 The FHSPC shall be responsible for ensuring that all monies are used in
accordance with the aims and objectives of the Parent Council.

12 Changes to the Constitution

12.1 The FHSPC may change its Constitution after obtaining consent from
members of the Parent Forum. Any changes to the Constitution will normally
be submitted for consideration at the Parent Forum AGM. Changes at other
times of the school session will require a Special General Meeting of the
Parent Forum to be convened.

12.2 Members of the Parent Forum will be sent information on the proposed
changes to the Constitution at least two weeks prior to the meeting.

13 Dissolution of Parent Council

13.1 Should the FHSPC cease to exist, any remaining funds will be passed to the
Education Authority for the benefit of the school, where this continues.

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