2. Deciding whether to request an independent review panel

Helping a family to decide whether to request an independent review panel will often be a straightforward exercise. In some circumstances, it will be difficult to identify a downside and where the family are not satisfied with the governors’ decision, it will often be a good idea for them to request a review.

Ultimately, it is the decision of the parent or guardian whether to proceed. However, it would be useful to make them aware of the following factors for and against.


  • It is free to request and attend an independent review panel.
  • Rates of success at independent review panels are much higher than at the governors’ panels.
  • Families can request the attendance of an SEN expert A person appointed by an IRP to provide expert advice to the panel on SEN issues relevant to the exclusion. to answer questions at the hearing.


  • The independent review panels do not have the power to direct reinstatement of a young person, so the decision will still be the governors to take.
  • Independent review panels cannot “clean” a person’s record. Even if successful, the record of the exclusion will still exist, but it will be updated to show the IRP’s finding.
  • IRP panellists are not necessarily experts in relevant law and the quality of the reviews vary from panel to panel. 


If the family ask you to request an IRP, continue to the next step.

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