Step-by-Step Guide: Attending the independent review panel

Step-by-Step Guide: Attending the independent review panel


This step-by-step guide covers the process of an independent review panel hearing, from arriving at the venue to undertaking advocacy.

The steps in this guide

  1. Before arriving at the venue for the hearing
    There are steps to take before the hearing to ensure things run smoothly on the day.
  2. Arriving at the venue for the hearing
    It is considered best practice for the school to hold the independent review panel at a venue that is not connected with the excluding school.
  3. Meeting with the family you are supporting
    Meeting with the family in advance can help you reassure them and plan your approach.
  4. Ensuring fair process at the hearing
    It is key that the governing board hearing comply with the principle of fairness.
  5. Presenting arguments at the hearing
    Advocating effectively is key to delivering a strong challenge. 

When to use this guide

Use this guide if you are attending an independent review panel with a family or supporting a family in attending an independent review panel. 

More information

If you want more information on the theory and practice that inform the steps in this guide, see the Quick Guide: Independent review panels



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This information is correct at the time of writing, 5th September 2023. The law in this area is subject to change.

Coram Children’s Legal Centre cannot be held responsible if changes to the law outdate this publication. Individuals may print or photocopy information in CCLC publications for their personal use.

Professionals, organisations and institutions must obtain permission from the CCLC to print or photocopy our publications in full or in part.