Letters extra: Independent panels
Once again teachers want to ban independent appeal panels. They do not seem to appreciate that any decision of theirs to exclude a child would then be reviewable by either the Ombudsman or by the courts by judicial review. The latter would be ruinously expensive for any school and would be quite likely to lead to the reinstatement of the pupil involved if there had been any procedural or other impropriety. The grounds on which most appeal panels reinstate are those of not complying with the secretary of state's guidance. This would not change with the abolition of independent panels. I speak as a member, and chairman, of panels for Kent and Medway Councils.