Independent School Appeals Panel Member - LB Redbridge

Closing date: 30 June 2021


Redbridge Council's Corporate Priorities are:

  1. To increase fairness and respond to the aspirations of the Borough
  2. To empower our communities to help shape our Borough and the services we deliver
  3. To improve the quality of life and civic pride amongst our communities
  4. To transform our Council in tough times to be dynamic and responsive to the challenges of the future

Role description: 

LogoAbout the role

Redbridge Council is recruiting volunteers to join its Independent School Appeals Panel. 

Your role will be to listen to school admission appeal cases on why a parent wants their child to attend a particular school and the reasons given by the Local Education Authority for refusal, and then decide, with other Panel Members, whether there are exceptional circumstances to allocate the child a place at the school of their choice.

Main tasks and responsibilities

  • Reading paperwork and written representations that will be sent to you
  • Listening to verbal representations at the hearings held at the Town Hall
  • Weighing up the two cases from the parent/carer and the Local Education Authority
  • Reaching a decision on each case with fellow panel members and giving reasons for those decisions

By becoming a Panel member, you will be helping the Council and local parents to arrive at a fair decision in the allocation of school places. You would receive specific training before starting to volunteer and ongoing advice at every hearing thereafter. 

Volunteers will serve as a Panel of 3 Members, at least one of whom will be very experienced. The Independent Clerk will be present throughout to give advice and guidance and to answer any questions. A team of officers are also available Monday to Friday to answer any queries.

Experience, skills and personal attributes needed

  • Have good reading, listening and communication skills
  • Have the ability to ask appropriate questions based on what you’ve read and heard
  • Be able to make own notes regarding each case
  • Have an awareness of Equality issues (training will be provided)
  • Be completely reliable and punctual with regard to any dates on which you’ve agreed to serve
  • Be committed to fairness and impartiality
  • Have an understanding of School Admission Appeals legislation (for which training will be provided)
  • Experience of school situation - parent, dinner lady, etc

The minimum age requirement for this role is 18+

Benefits to volunteer

  • Training 
  • New skills - on decision making
  • Rewarding - making a difference to a family
  • Meet new people
  • Learn new skills

Other information: 

Application process: Application form. Observe a hearing. 

For successful applicants, there is a full day of training held at Town Hall, Ilford and shadowing is at least one half day, or more if the panel member wishes. You will also receive Equalities & Diversity training, which is an E-learning course that can be completed at home or at the Council offices. 

On average the recruitment process takes one to two months, however, due to the response to Covid-19 this process is taking substantially longer. 

Volunteers have a named supervisor to offer support. 

Volunteering takes place at the Town Hall IG1 1DD. Independent school appeal hearings are held Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5pm. Volunteers would be contacted weeks in advance to be canvassed for their availability for future dates. There is no minimum requirement for how often a volunteer can serve in each month but they are required to serve for the whole day for dates that they are allocated. Hearings usually take place on the 1st floor of the Town Hall. The building entrance and the lift are fully wheelchair accessible.
Expenses: Travel only

Type of activity: 

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