Who will hear your review against exclusion?
The Independent Review Panel (IRP) will have three members and:
- One must be, or have been within the previous five years, a Head Teacher/Principal;
- One must be, or have been:
(i) a governor of a maintained school,
(ii) a member of a pupil referral management committee,
(iii) a director of the proprietor of an Academy, provided they have served in that capacity for at least 12 consecutive months within the last 5 years, and they have not been a teacher or Head Teacher during the last 5 years;
- One must be a lay person, that is, someone who has never worked in a school in a paid capacity (disregarding any experience as a school governor or volunteer).
Please note: The Lay member must be the Chairperson of the Panel. All the IRP members (and their clerk) will have received the required training.
Anyone who has, or has had a connection with the school or with any of the parties involved in the case cannot sit on the Independent Review Panel.
The membership of this panel is regulated by an Act of Parliament (Education Act 2002). All Panels act independently and their decisions are binding on parents, the Governing Board and the Local Education Authority.
The Clerk is there to ensure that the hearing is fair and that both sides are able to put their case, and will help you if you have any difficulty. It is Surrey County Council's policy that the clerk has received legal training.
The Clerk does not have any say at all in the Review Panel's decision but is there to:
- explain basic procedure and deal with any questions about the process;
- ensure the relevant facts are established;
- make sure each party is heard in turn;
- be an independent source of advice on the law and procedure;
- make notes of the proceedings, record the decision and reasons;
- after the review, notify all concerned of the Review Panel's decision.