Are you required to provide school reports and educational updates to the other parent? The straightforward and short answer is generally no.

As set out in earlier articles (available at the end of this one), mothers automatically hold parental responsibility for their children and, provided a father is named on the birth certificate, he will also hold a parental responsibility.

Parental responsibility and school updates

We will cover parental responsibility in more depth in later articles. However, in summary, parental responsibility does not just provide ‘rights’ to a parent, but also indicates there is a degree of responsibility which is to be held by that parent.

By holding parental responsibility, a parent has the authority to contact and liaise with the child’s school and to directly request copies of school reports, newsletters etc.

Consequently, there is no specific onus on the parent who may have the primary care to have to provide all of this information to the other parent which they could obtain themselves by direct liaison with the school.

Engaging with the school

Both parents holding parental responsibility will have a right to discuss their children’s education with their child’s class teacher, head etc. They will also be able to attend parent/teacher evenings (albeit there may be a need to separate attendances) and, with the use of modern technology, this is a facility that can be maintained even if the parents live a considerable distance apart.

In general terms, unless there are very good reasons why this should be prevented, both parents should know which school their child goes to and to some extent be involved in any discussions and agreements as to any change in schooling or education.

We will address more significantly disputed issues in a later article, but generally, both parents should use parental responsibility to liaise and engage with the school.

This article is part of a series on Private Family Law and Children Law proceedings. If you would like to learn more about the rules around parental responsibility, contact, holidays and arrangements for separated parents, please click here for the full series.

The next article in the series will address what happens when parents disagree over providing parental consent for children to take part in certain activities and lessons in school.

If you would like to discuss the different types of legal proceedings relating to children, please get in touch and we’d be happy to assist you.