School boards in Scotland

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School boards in Scotland were involved in determining the overall policies, objectives and ethos at the school. Boards have a special duty to promote good relationships between the school, its parents and the community and also form a channel for the flow of information between these groups. School Boards were introduced in 1988 as part of the Government's policy of encouraging parental involvement in schools. They comprise parent, teacher and 'co-opted' members, with parents in the majority. 'Co-opted' members may be drawn from local business or the community. They were abolished by the Scottish School Act 2006 introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 28 September 2005, which would see them replaced by a two-tier system of Parent Forums and Parent Councils.

They were established by the School Boards Act 1988, which mandated that they be set up in education authority schools in Scotland. Boards consist of elected parent and staff members and other members co-opted by the elected members. Board members hold office for four years, with half the parent places coming up for election every two years. The initial round of elections to school boards was held in 1989-1990, with parental elections biennially thereafter.

The 1988 Act provided for elections for school boards to be held in all schools except for the very few schools whose roll is so small that there are insufficient parents to form a school board. Schools in which elections are required to be held are referred to as ‘eligible schools’.

School boards, the size and composition of which is laid down in the School Board Regulations 1989, can only be established when sufficient parent members are elected through contested or uncontested regular elections, or by-elections. In cases where insufficient parents are elected to form a school board, a board can be established through the co-option of up to two parents. Where a School Board does not exist, this is either because the school is a non-qualifying school, or because no board was formed as a result of a regular election, a by-election or under other provisions.

England and Wales 1870-1902[edit]

School Boards were also set up in England and Wales under the Education Act 1870, and were abolished by the Education Act 1902, which replaced them with local education authorities.

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