Education (Student and Parent Charter) Bill, 2019
The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D. published the Education (Student and Parent Charter) Bill, 2019 on 10th September 2019.
The main aim of the legislation is to improve how schools engage with students and their parents. The overall approach is to shift away from concentrating on reacting to problems in schools after they have given rise to grievances to an approach which aims to improve the day-to-day experience students and their parents can expect from schools. This will be done by setting out in law a framework that schools will apply in their engagement with students and parents.
Key provisions in the Bill
The Bill includes provisions that:
- Require schools to have a Student and Parent Charter;
- Require the Minister to issue guidelines in accordance with which every school’s Student and Parent Charter shall be prepared, published and implemented;
- Set out the key matters that the Minister must have regard to when preparing the charter guidelines;
- Provide a power for the Minister to give a direction to a board where the Minister is of the opinion that a board has failed, or is failing, in whole or in part, to comply with its obligation to prepare, publish or implement a charter;
- Require the Minister to publish any direction issued and where applicable a notice of subsequent compliance;
- Amend Section 9 of the Education Act 1998 to include among the functions of a school:
- a requirement that a school must promote the involvement of students and their parents in the education provided to students and
- a requirement to ensure the implementation of its charter;
- Amend Section 27 of the Education Act 1998 to change the requirement on a student council from one of promoting the interest of the school to a requirement to promote the interests of the students of the school having regard to the characteristic spirit and polices of the school and the charter.
- Replace the existing section 28 of the Education Act with provisions that provide for the procedures for dealing with grievances of students or their parents relating to the school to be set out in the Minister’s charter guidelines.