Chance to join schools panels

COUNCIL chiefs have reminded residents they are appealing for people to come forward to be represented on two independent panels.

Hartlepool residents and people from outside of the town are invited to sit on the Independent Appeal Panel (School Admissions) and the Independent Review Panel (School Exclusions).

Each panel is made up of three or five members who are independent of Hartlepool Borough Council and meet on an ad-hoc basis.

The panels hear admission appeals against decisions not to admit children to particular schools and applications to review a decision when a child is permanently excluded from a Hartlepool school.

Hayley Martin, from the council, said: “Although the council administers both appeal panels, they are wholly independent.

“The amount of appeals that panel members attend during the year depends on their availability and personal commitments.

“For the school admissions panel we are seeking lay members who do not necessarily need to have any previous education experience.

“We also need people who have experience in education or are familiar with education in Hartlepool.

“The latter could for example be the parent of a child attending a Hartlepool school.

“In terms of the school exclusions panel, we need lay members, people who have school governor experience and headteachers who are either still working or have retired in the last five years.

“Applications are invited from people from all walks of life and it’s a chance for them to serve the local community and help adjudicate over important decisions.”

Panel meetings take place during the day and are usually either half or full day and full training is given to new members.

A clerk is also present throughout the proceedings to give legal and other advice.

Panel members are unpaid but they can claim travel expenses and refreshments are provided at meetings.

Hartlepool Borough Council employees and councillors are unable to sit on the panels.

For more information contact Hayley on (01429) 523182, or email