Put something back into your community – become a school admission appeal panel member.
It’s not always possible to offer parents a school place of their choice, but if a place is refused, parents can put their case to an independent panel to appeal against the decision.
Luton Borough Council is now seeking new panel volunteers for school admission appeals.
Martin Pratt, Corporate Director, Children and Learning Department said: “We are looking for people from different backgrounds, cultures and ages to sit on our admission appeal panels.
“Our panels are made up of people who have experience in education, parents and others who have no personal experience in this area. If you have spare time on your hands and want to make a difference then this could be the role for you.”
In Luton, three people make up the appeal panel, with a clerk to take notes and offer advice.
The panel must include at least one ‘lay person’ - someone who does not have personal experience of school management, and an ‘experienced person’ who is familiar with schools in the town or who is a parent of a child at a school.
A school admission appeal panel is independent from the Council, therefore school governors appointed by the Council and relatives of past and present councillors are not eligible to volunteer. Teachers and school governors cannot hear appeals relating to their school.
Sara House, a panel member for 11 years, said: “I was very interested in the education that our young people receive and I also had some spare time and was looking for a voluntary role that would help others.
“I feel that I am giving something back to Luton and the community. The role can be demanding at times when you have to make some difficult decisions, but a clear strong mind is needed in weighing up the cases.”
The role is unpaid but out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed. Appeals are held within school hours, lunch is provided and car parking is available.
For more information or to apply for the role of school admission appeals panel member, contact Nicola Griggs on 01582 54 80 60 email email@example.com or visit www.luton.gov.uk/admissions