Have Isle residents got what it takes to join appeals panel?

North Lincolnshire Council is currently recruiting people to join the Independent Education Admission Appeals Panel. While the vast majority of parents secure places for their child in their chosen school, one in ten applications nationally don’t succeed.

Councillor Rob Waltham
Councillor Rob Waltham

If this happens, parents can appeal against the decision, where a Panel comprising a range of people including parents, people with an interest in education, governors, and head teachers, have the power to overturn the decision.

To become a Panel member you must fit into one of the following criteria:

Parents who live in North Lincolnshire whose children are a registered pupil at school

Those with an interest in education who act as a lay member on the panels. A lay member is a person without personal experience in managing a school or providing education – this excludes teachers and former teachers.

Governors of schools within or outside North Lincolnshire

People who are or have, in the previous five years, been head teachers of maintained schools. This only applies to the eligibility of Exclusion Appeal Panel members.

The Panel may also occasionally hear appeals from parents whose child has been excluded from school.

You would only be expected to give up a small amount of your time. Full training is provided and travelling expenses paid, plus a financial loss allowance, where appropriate.

North Lincolnshire Council employees are not eligible for appointment to the Panel.

Councillor Rob Waltham, cabinet member for People at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “All parents want their children to do well and to be able to attend a school of their choice. But this isn’t always possible. While the vast majority of parents succeed in getting their chosen school, some do not. This could be for a number of reasons – demand is high for that particular school and there simply aren’t enough places to go round.

“You can help make a difference by becoming a member of the Panel, where you will help influence and possibly overturn the decision.

“The position is not necessarily time consuming and can be incredibly rewarding and empowering. If you think you’ve got what it takes, please get in touch.”

Robert Lyden, current member of the Independent Education Admission Appeals Panel, said: “There are a wide range of reasons to become a panel member. You can support students and/or the schools to which an application has been made. The decisions are reached after careful consideration, but can make a significant difference. It is not always easy but those decisions where you feel a student will benefit are particularly rewarding.”

If you are interested in joining the Panel, please contact Alex Dawson on 01724 296433 or Jo Findley on 01724 296235 or email: [email protected] or joanne.findley[email protected]