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Education Appeals Panel and Local Attendance Council

The Council maintains a List of Volunteers who sit on both the Educational Services (Appeals) Sub-Committees, commonly referred to as the Education Appeals Panel and the Local Attendance Council.

If you're interested in helping children and young people, why not become a volunteer member on our Education Appeals Panel and Local Attendance Council.

Applications are welcomed from parents / carers of children of school age and members of the public who have some experience in education.

Full training will be given to all volunteers.

Application

Applications are welcomed from parents of children of school age; members of the public who have experience in education; or members of the public who are acquainted with the educational conditions in the authority area.

Unfortunately, applications cannot be considered from anyone employed by the authority in an administrative or advisory capacity relating to education matters.

You can also obtain an application by emailing Alison Nelson, Co-ordinator - Democratic Support at alison.nelson@south-ayrshire.gov.uk  Closing date for applications is Saturday 11 February 2023.                         

Educational Services (Appeals) Sub-Committees, commonly referred to as the Education Appeals Panel

The Education (Scotland) Act 1980 requires that South Ayrshire Council set up and maintain Appeal Committees to enable referrals to be made in relation to placing requests and exclusions.  This Committee is more commonly referred to as the Education Appeals Panel.

Placing request appeals are made by parents/cares when a placing request has been refused by the authority. However, the Education Appeals Panel has the power to overturn the decision of the authority.

Appeals against decisions to exclude a pupil can be appealed by parents/carers to the Education Appeals Panel which has the power to overturn the decision of the authority.

The timescale for appeals is governed by legislation and all appeals would normally be heard within 28 days of receipt of the appeal.

At the appeal hearing, which is chaired by a local Councillor, the Clerk will introduce all those present and explain the part that each person plays.  An informal approach is adopted to reduce any anxiety/apprehension that the parent/carer may have and to try to put them at their ease.  The parent/carer has the right to be represented at the hearing and to be accompanied by up to 3 supporters.  A representative from the authority will also be present to give the reasons behind their decision.

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Appeal Committee will make their decision in private and this is communicated to the parent/carer and the authority in writing, within 14 days of the hearing.

Local Attendance Councils

South Ayrshire Council established Local Attendance Councils to address the issues of non-attendance at school.  The role of the Local Attendance Council is to make recommendations to the Director of Education on attendance matters. The Local Attendance Council may write to and interview parents/carers who are in default of their responsibilities regarding their child's attendance at school.

The role of the Attendance Council is to explore the issues involved in the child's non-attendance and to ensure that the child's educational wellbeing is not at risk due to non-attendance.

At the conclusion of the meeting the Attendance Council will make a recommendation based on their findings at the meeting. 

Some of the advantages include:

  • Volunteer members are not known to or personally involved with parents/carers and children and young people who may be called to appear at a local Attendance Council
  • Volunteer members are provided with training to allow them to become familiar with the legislation and procedures associated with school attendance
  • Attendance cases are dealt with objectively away from the school.

From the pool of volunteers Local Attendance Councils are formed when necessary to deal with particular cases and will consist of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 members.

Note:   The Local Attendance Council process is currently undernoted review and may be subject to change.

Training

Candidates will require to successfully undertake training prior to formally taking part in a Panel.