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  • Are you interested in education and want to get involved?
  • Do you have excellent listening skills, the ability to put people at ease and make balanced decisions?
  • Do you have time available on weekdays during term-time?

If you’ve answered yes to the above, why not consider becoming a volunteer panel member for school appeals.


What does a panel member do?

The role of a volunteer panel member is to:


  • Sit on independent admission appeals panels and/or
  • Independent exclusion review panel hearings
  • Ensure parents feel they have had a fair and independent hearing, been given every opportunity to put their case forward and been taken seriously.


Hearings are held at one of the schools in the local area using the service, another local school or can be held online.  Our panels are made up of 3 volunteers, supported by a trained and experienced clerk.


School Admission Appeals:

If a parent is refused a place for their child at a school, they are entitled to appeal against that decision.  Legislation sets out how these appeals are heard and who can hear them.  Full training is provided.


Independent Exclusion Reviews

If a governing board of a school upholds the headteacher’s decision to permanently exclude a child, the parent/guardian is entitled to ask for a review this decision.  This review is held by a trained independent review panel, consisting of a lay person (chair), a school governor and a headteacher. 


Who can apply?

Anyone can apply to be a volunteer panel member to either hear school admission appeals and/or independent exclusion reviews except for Councillors for BCP council or an employee of BCP Council.


What skills or experience do I need?


  • Good interpersonal and communication skills
  • Good literacy and listening skills
  • Able to remain firm and calm
  • Integrity
  • Fairness
  • Ability to work with other panel members
  • For the exclusion review panel role you will need to be a current headteacher or governor or have served as such within the last 5 years, other than for the chairman role, which is a lay member.


Do panel members receive training?

Yes, all panel members are trained before sitting on panel and this is refreshed at least every 2 years to ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to fulfil the role.


How much time to I need to commit to the role?

The amount of time needed for this role can vary depending on the level of commitment you wish to give.  Whilst appeals are held throughout the year, on weekdays, during term-time, the peak months are between May and July.  Appeals are arranged so that they are heard for half or a full day, depending on the volume of appeals at the time.  May to July is when appeals are heard for children transitioning into the school (Year 6 into Year 7) and these appeals can go on over a number of days, depending on the number received.


Do panel members get paid?

Panel members provide a very important volunteer service, which is unpaid.  However, panel members are entitled to expenses, such as travel, when attending panel hearings and training.  Refreshments are provided and if the hearing goes over lunchtime, a light sandwich lunch is also provided.


Ready to apply?

If you’re ready to apply, you will need to complete an online application form.  Either click on the link below or scan the QR code with your phone or tablet to access the form:                          


Want to discuss further?

If you want to discuss the roles further before applying, please contact Mrs Karen Green, Admission Appeals Officer, CASAppeals on email:  or telephone (01202) 029589.