School Admission Appeal / Independent Review Panel Member

Admission Appeals

When parents or guardians do not receive a place at the school they have applied for they are able to appeal the decision to refuse the place. The parent or guardian give reasons as to why they are appealing the decision and the Admission Authority give reasons as to why they have refused the application for a place. An independent Panel of at least 3 people is arranged to hear the case from both parties and make a decision, based on the evidence provided, as to whether the child should have a place at the school.

Independent Review Panels 

When a child has been excluded from a school the Governing Board for that school review the Headteacher’s decision to exclude. If the parent or guardian is unhappy with how the Governing Board reviewed the decision, they can ask for an Independent Panel to review the Governing Board decision. A Panel of at least 3 people is arranged to hear the case from the School, Governing Board and the family and make a decision, based on the evidence provided, as to whether the exclusion decision should be reconsidered.

We are seeking people who are willing to be an independent Panel Member to support these hearings. You would offer your time to attend the hearing itself, which could be held face to face in Newcastle or held remotely on Zoom or Teams.  In the hearing you would listen and ask questions of the different parties regarding the cases presented. You would then make a decision with your Panel Member colleagues based on the evidence presented from all parties.

There is an expectation that you would spend some time reading the hearing papers before attending on the day, however your role would finish once the final decisions had been made.


1 Admission Appeal Hearing takes around an hour, and an Independent Review Panel around 2.5 hours. Often Admission Appeal Hearings are grouped together so you could hear a few in a morning, afternoon, or full day.  Hearings will be carried out in line with the DfE ‘School Admission Appeals Code’ or the ‘Suspension and Permanent Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England, including pupil movement’ documents.

Face to face hearings take place at Mansion House Jesmond or Civic Centre, Newcastle.

Remote hearings are held over Zoom or Teams.


We are seeking people from education and non-education backgrounds, but with a general interest in the education of children. Members should have these skills:

  • Impartiality
  • Be able to analyse information
  • Be able to actively listen & confidently ask questions of all parties
  • Be able to reach an informed decision based on information provided.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • A commitment to fairness
  • An appreciation of the confidential nature of these Hearings.

In the case of an IRP we appoint a Panel of 3 people – a lay Chair (who has not worked in a school in a paid capacity), a current or former school governor (within the last 5 years for 12 consecutive months), & a current or former Head Teacher (within the last 5 years).

Hearings may be face to face or held remotely. If willing to hear remotely then Panel Members need to have access to a computer or tablet with a camera and microphone and a reliable internet connection. Panel Members must be confident in using Zoom or Teams. Training for the role will be provided.


  • Accessibility
  • Age restrictions
    18+ only.
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Expenses reimbursed
    Travel expenses (public transport / car) offered for Hearings and training. Other out of pocket expenses can be considered.
  • Ongoing support
    In addition to training and observation, Clerks are available during all Hearings to offer support and guidance to the Hearing process.
  • Training provided
    We are always open to suggestions for training and can tailor sessions and offer relevant opportunities for the role.
  • Volunteer induction
    Panel Members will be trained in line with the appropriate guidance and supplied with the necessary documents to carry out their role. Observation opportunities and wider support will also be offered before undertaking the Panel Member role. We expect Members to undertake safeguarding children training and we will offer ongoing online or face to face sessions on relevant topics as and when the need arises.
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Start Date: 25/03/2024

End Date: 01/04/2025

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Afternoon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Evening No No No No No No No

Availability Details

As & when approached & available – no commitment expectation.


Mansion House
Fernwood Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear

Civic Centre
Barras Bridge
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tyne and Wear

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