The response is available below
1. The proposal to re-insert the principle in legislation is supported strongly.
2. We agree that the current situation is unsatisfactory – under circular 10/99 the appeal panel attempts both a re-hearing and a review of the procedures. We agree that the panel should not be called upon to do both and that pupils should not be re-instated merely on a technicality. However, a significant danger in these proposals is that the appeal panel may only have access to statements upon which to base their judgment, whereas the head teacher is likely to have the advantage of examining actual witnesses at a time when their memory was fresh and of whom he has some personal knowledge.
3. We agree with this proposal. In addition we think that the time may be right to consider once again allowing voluntary aided schools to appoint the independent appeal panel, rather than their maintaining LEA.
4. We agree with this proposal.
Consultee: Archdiocese of Westminster
Contact: Paul Barber
Address Westminster Diocese Education Service
46 Francis Street
London SW1P 1QN