Volunteers needed for school appeals panels

Northumberland County Council are seeking volunteers to serve on the Appeals Panels for the Northumberland Local Authority.  

Education Admission Appeals Panels consider appeals made by parents whose children have been refused admission to their preferred school. Members of the Independent Panel consider the cases put forward by the parents and the Authority’s reasons for refusal, before deciding whether the appeal should be upheld.

Exclusion Independent Review Panels consider appeals by parents or carers whose children have been permanently excluded from school. The panel consider the decision of the governing body and decide whether to uphold the decision to permanently exclude a pupil, or recommend the governing body review their decision.

Each Panel is made up of at least 3 trained members drawn from a pool of volunteers:

a) a lay person (someone without personal experience in the management of any school or provision of education in any school (except as a school governor or in another voluntary capacity));
b) a person with experience in education, who is acquainted with educational conditions in the local authority area, or a parent of registered pupils at school, and
c) a Chair (who can be either).

Certain people are disqualified from serving:
a) a member of Northumberland County Council;
b) a member or former member of the governing body of the school in question;
c) an employee of Northumberland County Council, other than as a teacher or teaching assistant;
d) any person who has, or has had, any connection with the authority, school or any person in sub-paragraph c) above which might reasonably be taken to raise doubts about that person’s ability to act impartially;
e) any person who has not attended training required by the admission authority arranging the appeal panel.

Appeals take place throughout the year during the working day and you are free to accept or refuse any hearing offered to you. Full training is provided and the Panel is supported by a fully trained clerk and legal officer.

The role would suit someone with excellent listening skills as well as an ability to put people at ease and assess evidence to determine each appeal.

The role is unpaid but travel expenses will be reimbursed.

To find out more about this rewarding role, or to request an application pack, please contact the Clerk to the Education Appeals Panel on 01670 622606  or email schoolappeals@northumberland.gov.uk
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