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NAFWC 12/2007 - "Parents" and "Parental Responsibility": Guidance for schools

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Schools are regularly required to have dealings with pupils’ parents. This can often lead to complications regarding who a pupil’s parents are, and is further complicated when there are disputes between a number of adults claiming to have parental responsibility for the child.

This circular outlines the definition of “parent”, “parental responsibility” and “having care of a child” for the purposes of the Education Act 1996, and advises schools on how to apply this. It also provides an outline of relevant court orders and advice on who schools must involve in issues about a pupil’s education and other school matters.

This is, however, intended only as guidance for schools and therefore should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of the law - that is a matter for the courts.