Parent Participation in the Spanish School System: School Councils

  •  Verónica Cobano-Delgado    


Parents of pupils participate in the supervision and management of Spanish schools through the School Council [Consejo Escolar], which is the principal body through which such participation and oversight is channeled. Through it families, pupils, teachers and non-teaching staff contribute collectively to making the important decisions affecting schools. Its members are chosen by means of an electoral process that must be public and objective; voting must be personal, direct, secret and not delegable. The Council’s composition varies from one Autonomous Community to another and its character depends on the characteristics of each school – public or private – on the type of education offered as well as on the space, teaching staff and pupils it has at its disposal. Under the recent educational reform, democratic participation on the part of the various sectors which make up the school community has been drastically curtailed. Parents’ representatives, teachers, pupils, administrative and municpal staff on the School Council find their contribution relegated to a merely consultative level.

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