Become a volunteer Independent School Appeal Panel member

How becoming an Independent Appeal Panel Member can help others

Are you interested in volunteering? Do you have some free time to give back to your community?

We have an opportunity for you, we are seeking new volunteers to become panel members of the Independent Appeal Panel for school admission appeals. You will be working with other panel members to make a valuable contribution to the appeals service.

Choosing a school for their children is important to all parents and carers. They are entitled to express a preference for the school they would like their child to attend. However, due to limited places not everyone is successful in getting their child into their preferred school.

When this happens parents and carers have a legal right to appeal against the admission authority’s decision to refuse a place for their child at their preferred school.

These appeals are heard by an appeal panel, comprised of three individual panel members. There is now an opportunity for you to volunteer to be a part of that panel.

What does a member of the Independent Appeals Panel do?

The Independent Appeal Panel plays an important role in hearing and deciding school admission appeals.

Being a panel member is a position of responsibility, as the appeal panel performs a judicial function and must be transparent, accessible, independent, impartial, and operate according to the principles of natural justice. They are a great way to give back to the community, whilst giving you, the opportunity to support the education system in your area.

Whilst this is a voluntary position, full training is provided to make sure you have the skills and knowledge you need to do great work.

Who can be a panel member?

The independent appeal panel has a chair and at least two other panel members.

A panel must consist of the following categories of people, with at least one person from each category:

  • lay people (this means someone without personal experience in the management of any school or provision of education in any school, for example a school governor or other volunteer in a school can be on the panel.
  • people who have experience in education, who are acquainted with educational conditions in the local authority area, or who are parents of registered pupils at school

Whatever your experience we would love to hear from you.

Who cannot be a panel member?

Due to the need to keep the process independent of the admissions authority there are some restrictions on who can become a panel member.

A person cannot become a panel member if they are:

  • a member of the local authority which is the admission authority or in whose area the school in question is located
  • a member or former member of the governing body of the school in question
  • employed by the local authority or governing body of the school in question, other than as a teacher or teaching assistant
  • any person who has, or at any time 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
  • any person who has not attended training required by the admission authority arranging the appeal panel

Interested in volunteering? Contact us

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in becoming a panel member. To take the next step all you need to do is complete the application pack.

Email to get a copy of the application pack.


Page last updated: 13 June 2023

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