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Education Appeal Committees: Proposals for Reform: A Consultation


The Education Appeal Committee system as a whole

"I think for a normal person it's quite daunting. Maybe it's just that I'm an emotional type person, but I found it all very daunting and a bit scary, and I wouldn't want to go through it again."
Unsuccessful placing request appeal

The report on Education Appeal Committees by the Scottish Committee of the Council of Tribunals in 2000 showed a system that needed to be improved if it was to be seen as independent and impartial by those who used it. The research with parents who had appealed to Education Appeal Committees found that there was "a serious imbalance of power between the local authority and appellants".

Question 16: Given the findings of the research and the Scottish Committee's report we would welcome views on whether Education Appeal Committees are still an appropriate means for hearing appeals relating to placing requests and exclusions. Do you think there is another, and better, way of dealing with appeals? If so, what is it? Are there any other existing bodies which could possibly hear these appeals?

Question 17: Should we establish new bodies to hear appeals against placing request and exclusion decisions? If so who should sit on these bodies and how should they work?

Education Appeal Committees also hear appeals against two very different decisions by an authority: to exclude a child from school, and not to grant a child a place of their (or their parents') choice. The procedures for hearing these cases are exactly the same.

Question 18: Given the different issues involved should one body hear appeals against exclusions and against placing request decisions? Do you think EACs should have one set of procedures for hearing appeals relating to placing requests, and another set for when they are hearing appeals relating to exclusions? If so, what should be the differences?

Question 19: Are there any other comments you would like to make about Education Appeal Committees?