School Admissions & Exclusions Appeal Panel Members
From time to time Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham Councils will call upon members to sit on independent appeal panels. There are two types of appeal panel you may be asked to sit on; the admissions appeal panel and the exclusion appeal panel.
The independent appeals panel will be made up of three or five members. The issues under consideration by both panels are quite different and are detailed below but essentially the Panel administration will be similar for both types of appeals.
The panel will be assisted by a Clerk. The Clerk to the panel ensures that relevant facts are established and that the appeal hearing is conducted in a fair and appropriate manner. The Clerk is an independent source of advice on procedure and evidence and will be making a record of the proceedings, decisions and reasons and will then notify all parties of the Panel's decision. If invited to do so by the Panel, the Clerk will stay with the Panel during their deliberations but will not take any part in the decision-making process
At the end of the Appeal the Panel will privately weigh up all of the evidence presented to them carefully and objectively before reaching a final decision on the appeal. The decision of the Appeal Panel is final and the decision is binding on all parties concerned. There is no further right of appeal in these matters.
Before you are asked to sit on any Appeal Panel you will be provided with appropriate training.
Being a Panellist is not a remunerated position however travelling to and from the appeal venue and reasonable subsistence expenses will be met.
The list of members will be held by Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham authorities. You may be called to sit on any of the panels, subject to your availability and the preferences within your application form.
Admissions Appeal Panel
Any parent or legal guardian may appeal against a decision by a school admission authority to refuse to offer a place for their child at the school of their preference. Parents have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel as described in The School Standards and Framework Act 1998.
These panels are entirely independent of the Admissions Authority (Local Authority and/or school governing body) that made the decision against which the appeal is being made.
The right to appeal relates to all stages of compulsory education admissions. Nursery education is non-compulsory and there is no right to appeal against a refusal of admission at nursery level.
An Admission Appeal panel will be comprised of at least one lay member (i.e. a person without personal experience in the management of a school or the provision of education) and at least one person with experience in education.
Exclusion Appeal Panel
Parents may appeal against a permanent exclusion of their child from a school. An Exclusion Panel will be comprised of three or five panellists, one who is a lay member, one who is currently working in education or education management and one who is or who has been a school governor for 12 consecutive months within the last 6 years. The lay member will chair the panel.
Are you able to sit on the Admission Appeal Panel?
There may be circumstances when you are not eligible to sit on an Admission Appeal Panel:
- You will be unable to sit on any Admission Appeal panel if you are a member of the Local Authority (e.g. councillor) or have had any connection with the Local Authority.
- You will be unable to sit on any Appeal Panel if you are employed by the Local Authority, but teachers are permitted to be panellists.
- You will be unable to sit on specific Admission Appeal panels if you are a member of the governing body of the school subject to appeal, but this does not mean that you are disqualified from sitting on appeal panels in relation to admission to other schools.
- You will be unable to sit on specific Admission Appeal panels if you were party to a decision not to admit the child appealing or if you took part in any discussions about how that decision was reached.
Are you able to sit on the Exclusion Appeal Panel?
There may be circumstances when you are not eligible to sit an Exclusion Appeal Panel:
- If you are a member of the Local Authority or of the governing body of the school in question
- If you are the head teacher of, or any teacher at, the school in question or any person who has held any such position within the previous 5 years
- If you are employed by the Local Authority other than as a head teacher or a teacher
- If you have, or at any time have had any connection with the Local Education Authority or with any person mentioned in the bullet points above or you have any connection to the pupil in question or to the incident leading to his or her exclusion.
What skills we are looking for
- The ability to impartially listen to and evaluate the arguments and evidence presented by both sides
- Decisiveness – an appeal decision will have to be made soon after hearing the appeal
- Flexibility – appeals are generally heard during working hours, will you be able to attend? Your availability will always be sought prior to an appeal hearing being set.
What happens next?
If you are still interested in performing this valuable role we would be grateful if you could complete the accompanying application form by the 28th February 2018; this will assist us in deciding which panel you would be most suited to serve on.
Your application will then be considered and you will be advised in writing by the end of March 2018 whether or not your application has been approved. If accepted as a panel member, you will be invited for training.