Somerset Council is looking for new volunteers to become Independent Panel Members for School Appeals.

Independent Panels hear and decide on admission, exclusion and transport issues for maintained schools and Academy schools in Somerset. A panel meets when a parent or school lodges an appeal against a decision related to a child’s education. These panels are independent of Somerset Council and the governing bodies of the school.

The Panels meet online so there is no need to travel, and applications are welcome from across Somerset. No qualifications are needed and full training is provided.

Cllr Tessa Munt, Executive Lead Member for Children, Families and Education, said:

Panel members play a hugely important role in making sure our processes are open and transparent.

The volunteers who come forward find it interesting, important and useful, so I hope their words will encourage more people from across Somerset to contribute their time. They will be made very welcome.

Volunteers are encouraged to come forward whether they have experience as a governor, teacher, parent carer or not.

Sara, a current volunteer, describes her role:

I ensure that parents and schools have followed the legal processes. We examine any specific circumstances in individual cases which may have been missed previously. The role is interesting, important, and incredibly well organised. The training the team gives is very good.

Tony, a volunteer for more than 12 years, says by being a panel member he is giving back to Somerset:

I am contributing to my community, I like to know that I am making a difference.

For more information, and to apply, please visit School Appeals Panels Member | Somerset Council Volunteering. You can also contact Neil Milne on 01823 359045 or email

documents showing the type of work done by school appeals panel

About this article

December 18, 2023

Debbie Rundle

Children and Families

Press Release