Become a panel member

Become a panel member for education admission appeals or permanent exclusion independent reviews


Why be a panellist?

For some people the work is helpful for their career, providing them with relevant work experience. For others, it is rewarding in itself to give people the chance to state their case. Appellants often become clearer about the options open to them during a hearing and the reasons why a place was not offered at a preferred school.

Apply to be a panellist


Admission appeals panels consider appeals by parents whose children have been refused admission to their preferred school. Members of the independent panels consider the cases put forward by the parents and the schools and decide whether or not the appeal should be upheld.

Permanent exclusion independent review panels consider appeals by parents or carers, whose children have been permanently excluded from a school. The panel consider the decision of a pupil disciplinary panel to uphold a permanent exclusion and decide whether to uphold their decision to permanently exclude a pupil, recommend that the pupil disciplinary panel reconsider its decision or direct the pupil disciplinary panel to reconsider its decision.

The panels are made up of education experts (people who have had experience in education, understand the educational conditions in Norfolk and Waveney, are a parent of a child at a school, but are not an employee of Inspiration Trust, except teachers) and lay people (who have no experience of managing or providing education in a school, but may have been a governor or acted in another voluntary capacity, and have no connections with the school or Inspiration Trust or any person employed by it).

The work is not paid but expenses for travel will be reimbursed. Appeals take place during the working day. You are free to accept or refuse any hearing offered to you. Training is provided.

Please see below for more information.

What is required of a panellist?

Panel members follow a process, extracting and weighing up relevant information from all parties to make a decision. Panel members deal with a variety of people from diverse backgrounds, negotiating situations where appellants may express anxiety or anger. Excellent communication skills and the ability to navigate information and understand legal and policy documents is essential. The ability to reach clear, methodical decisions which may be scrutinised and challenged is integral to the role, and impartiality to both the schools and parents is also necessary, as is confidentiality. In coming to a decision, it is important that the panel keeps in mind the requirements of the Department for Education School Admission Appeals Code and the Department for Education School Suspensions and Permanent Exclusions guidance.

More information

The Schools Admission Appeals Code

School suspensions and permanent exclusions


See also:

Become a governor