Parental responsibility means having all the rights, duties, powers and responsibility of a child in your day to day care, as set out by the Children Act 1989.
It gives you the legal right to make decisions and choices, such as where your child will live or go to school, but also the responsibility of ensuring your child receives a proper education.
If you are not the child’s mother, you can also apply for parental responsibility.
In some cases parental responsibility will be shared with others, such as the local authority, through a care order.
Details of court orders must be noted in a pupil’s record. School staff will then know who can give parental permission for a school visit, or be contacted if the child is ill, as well as what to do in more difficult situations. For example, if a parent, rather than a foster-parent, comes to collect a child in care from school.