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 you want to write to the young person or their family and give them information on requesting an IRP review, consider using the Suggested Text: Providing Information to the Family on Requesting an Independent Review Panel.
If the family ask you to request an IRP, continue to the next step.