Independent review panel hearings: procedures

Parents have the right to request a review of your governing board's decision not to reinstate a pupil after exclusion. This review is done by an independent review panel (IRP), convened by the local authority (LA) or academy trust. Get an overview of how the hearing will run and what the outcomes might be.

Last reviewed on 11 August 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 2422
  1. What is an independent review panel hearing?
  2. LAs and trusts are responsible for convening the panel 
  3. Membership of the panel 
  4. Who can attend the hearing
  5. Documents you'll receive 
  6. Possible outcomes
  7. Finding out the decision 

This article is based on the DfE's statutory guidance on suspensions and permanent exclusions, applying from September 1 2022.

One Education also helped us write this article.

What is an independent review panel hearing?

An IRP hearing scrutinises a governing board's decision to uphold a pupil's permanent exclusion. This helps to make sure that exclusions are lawful, reasonable, and procedurally fair. 

When your governing board decides not to reinstate an excluded pupil during an exclusion hearing, parents can apply for an IRP to consider the decision. 

The pupil's name can't be removed from your school roll during this process.

LAs and trusts are responsible for convening the panel 

The LA for maintained schools and the academy trust for academies is responsible for arranging an IRP meeting.

It should be held on a date and time and at a location that is convenient for all parties.

The IRP must be made up