School Societies is a group of parents that meet to discuss school support ideas, and act as a go-between for parents and teaching staff to raise funds to enhance our children's education. Below is an in-depth look at the difference between School Councils and School Societies and what that means in terms of insurance.
School Councils vs. Parent Associations/Groups or Societies
Status of School Councils under the School Board's Liability Insurance
In accordance with the Education Act, your school board carries a General Liability policy to cover bodily injury and property damage claims against the school board, its employees and school councils, while they are performing their duties.
More specifically, the insurance policy states: "The term "School Council" means an unincorporated entity which operates within its school under the authority of the principal of the school."
According to the Education Act, "a school council may, at its discretion,
(a) advise the principal and the board respecting any matter relating to the school,
(b) perform any duty or function delegated to it by the board in accordance with the delegation,
(c) consult with the principal so that the principal may ensure that students in the school have the opportunity to meet the standards of education set by the Minister,
(d) consult with the principal so that the principal may ensure that the fiscal management of the school is in accordance with the requirements of the board and the superintendent, and
(e) do anything it is authorized to do under the regulations to do so."
Based on the above, the role of a school council is mostly one of an advisory capacity. Therefore, when a school council decides to independently organize an activity, such as a ski program or fundraiser, they cannot organize it in the name of the "school council" but as a parent group "PG" or a society (An entity incorporated under the Societies Act). Any liabilities that may arise from such activity will be the responsibility of the parent group or society. The School Board's insurance will not respond to any claims under those circumstances. It is thus essential that PGs/Societies obtain their own insurance to protect themselves from potential claims or lawsuits.