What can be appealed?
An appeal may be made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Skills in respect of a decision by a board of management or a person acting on behalf of a board of management to:
a) permanently exclude a student from the school;
b) suspend a student from the school for a cumulative period of 20 school days in any one school year
c) refuse to enrol a student in the school.
In the case of a school which is established or maintained by an Education and Training Board (ETB), the appeal against the decision of the board of management of the school shall be made, in the first instance, to its ETB.
Who can make an appeal?
An appeal may be made by the parent/guardian of the student concerned, or by the student, where the student is aged 18 years or over, or by the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency (EWS) in respect of a decision under a) or c) above.
What happens after an appeal is admitted?
The parties to the appeal (appellant and school) will be notified by letter that the appeal has been admitted. The letter will contain information relating to all stages of the appeal process including the date the appeal hearing is scheduled for.
What happens at facilitation?
The parties to the appeal are encouraged to resolve the issue of the appeal. Where there is failure to reach agreement at a local level, a facilitator will attempt to broker an agreement between both parties to the appeal. The appointed facilitator will meet with both parties to the appeal separately. Where agreement is not possible, within the relevant time constraints, the facilitator will submit their report to the administration unit and the case will be referred for hearing.
What happens at the appeal hearing?
Appeals are heard within a 30 day period from the date the appeal is admitted; this period can be extended by up to 14 days in exceptional circumstances.
A section 29 appeals committee consists of 3 persons; an Inspector and 2 such other persons as the Minister considers appropriate (one of whom will act as chairperson). At the hearing, the parties to the appeal will be given an opportunity to present their case. Both will have the right to reply and each will have the right to question the other through the chairperson. Hearings are conducted with the minimum of formality consistent with giving all parties to the appeal a fair hearing.
What happens after the appeal hearing?
As soon as practicable, the Secretary General, or an officer assigned the responsibility by the Secretary General, shall notify the parties to the appeal, in writing, of the determination of the appeal.