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Volunteers wanted in Cambridgeshire to hear school admissions appeals

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School friends make their way up the school staircase
School friends make their way up the school staircase

More volunteers are needed to join Cambridgeshire's school admissions appeals panel.

Every year a number of pupils fail to secure a place at the school of their choice because that school is oversubscribed. The parents of these pupils can appeal against the decision which are heard by an independent panel – an important process required by law.

Cambridgeshire County Council is looking for volunteers who are either educationally experienced or who may have no previous experience or educational training to sit on these panels, which are independent of the County Council and the school governing bodies.

Volunteers must be able to listen to two sides of a case and weigh up evidence objectively and impartially.

The work is voluntary but travelling expenses will be paid and training will be provided. The time commitment is usually a minimum of five working days each year.

To ensure impartiality, panel members must not be elected members or employees of the County Council who work in education, or on the governing body of the school concerned with the appeal.

However, they can be on the governing body of an unconnected school. They must also not be involved in the management or provision of education in any school.

The County Council would like the panels to reflect the diverse communities living in Cambridgeshire and would particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic candidates, as well as young applicants and people with disabilities.

Anyone interested in learning more or applying to receive an application form should contact democratic and members’ services assistant Harriet Snape on 01223 699173, or Rob Sanderson on 01223 699181.

Email Harriet at harriet.snape@cambridgeshire.gov.uk, or Rob at rob.sanderson@cambridgeshire.gov.uk. Harriet Snape can also be written to at SH1102, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP.

The closing date for applications is January 18, 2019. Successful applicants will be notified by March and asked to attend training during the following month.

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