The meeting of the Independent Review Panel
The clerk will ask everyone present to introduce themselves and will explain the procedure. They will record the proceedings and will advise all parties on the law and regulations.
All parties attending the Panel have the right to be represented.
The Panel will generally ask to hear from those involved in the incidents leading to the permanent exclusion. In advance of the Review, the clerk will ask the parent whether the excluded pupil will be attending.
The headteacher of the school / academy will explain to the Panel why they decided to permanently exclude the pupil.
A governor from the school / academy will explain why the Discipline Committee decided to uphold the exclusion.
As the parent of the excluded child, you will then be given the opportunity to ask questions of the headteacher and the governor.
The Panel will also question the headteacher and governor.
You can then explain why you believe the Discipline Committee should review its decision.
The headteacher will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the parent.
The Panel will also question the parent.
All parties will be invited to present evidence to support their case. Witnesses may be called.
The Panel may rely on written statements from witnesses who are pupils at the school. Pupils may appear as witnesses provided that they do so voluntarily and with parental consent.
All written witness statements will be attributed, signed and dated unless the school has good reason to protect the anonymity of the witness.
If the parent has asked the local authority / academy trust to provide a SEN expert all parties will be given the opportunity to ask questions of the expert.
The Panel will also, if the child has been excluded from a maintained school, ask the local authority to make a statement on the case. If the child has been excluded from an academy the local authority may only attend the Panel if the parent requests it.
When all parties have summed up, the clerk will ask everyone to leave the room while the Panel makes its decision. The Panel will apply the civil standard of proof, ‘on the balance of probabilities’ it is more likely than not that a fact is true, rather than ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.