Do we need background checks (PVGs) on possible members of the Parent Council?

Q:

If a parent wants to be a member of the Parent Council, but someone (eg the headteacher) considers them to be unsuitable for some reason, how do we handle that? Is there anything in the PVG legislation that covers this situation? 

A:

There is nothing in the legislation about any requirement to check the background of parents who come forward to serve on the Parent Council and nor is there any reason why there should be.  It seems likely this 'hypothetical' issue has been raised by the headteacher who is aware that school staff have to be members of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme.  However, the Parent Council members will not, in their normal duties, be in childcare positions and so there is no reason why their backgrounds should be checked through the PVG scheme.  Parent Council members will be discussing concerns raised by parents and may be taking part in fundraising events, not regularly looking after/teaching children.  However, if a Parent Council member started running a club for the children (eg an after-school activity) or was in sole charge of children in their Parent Council role, then at that point he/she would need to be asked to join the PVG Scheme because at that point he/she would be moving into a childcare position. See our Child Protection and PVG leaflets in the drop-down menu for more details.  Download Connect's Guidance on the Protection of Vulnerable Groups for Parent Councils and PTAs.