Children's hearings and pre-hearing panels - composition changes: equality impact assessment

An assessment of the equality impacts of introducing flexibility into the requirement for children's hearings to have both male and female panel members.

Recommendations and Conclusions

The evidence base from Children's Hearings Scotland indicates that the proposed amendment is unlikely to have any adverse impacts on those with protected characteristics. Although the impact is likely to be broadly neutral, there will be some positive impacts for Panel Members who identify as male. The implementation of the change, including the number of times the flexibility is used and the impact this has on those immediately affected, will be appropriately monitored by Children's Hearings Scotland. National Convener Guidance will be issued to Area Support Teams on how the flexibility should be employed, and the impact of the change in law will be carefully monitored and a process for data collection has been identified. This will enable monthly internal reporting for an initial period, with Senior Management of Children's Hearings Scotland oversight and review. Significant or unexpected use, should it arise, will be addressed with the rota managers within Children's Hearings Scotland through the existing management and reporting structures.



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