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Parental responsibility: guide for schools and local authorities

Guidance for local authorities and schools dealing with adults who have legal rights and responsibilities for children at their school.


Understanding and dealing with issues relating to parental responsibility



This guide is for:

  • school governing bodies
  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • local authorities
  • diocesan boards

It applies to:

  • maintained schools – including sixth form and nursery year groups
  • maintained nursery schools
  • academies and free schools – including sixth form and nursery year groups

It explains what to do when there are disputes between a number of adults, each claiming to have parental responsibility for a particular child.

Published 6 January 2016
Last updated 3 September 2018 + show all updates

  1. Updated with information about data protection and engaging with parents who may not live with a child.
  2. First published.

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