[ This policy should be read with reference to our school’s policies in the following areas: Code of Good Behaviour; Anti-Bullying Policy; Enrolment Policy; School Attendance Policy (Procedures for the notification of pupil absences from school); Record Keeping Policy.]
This policy has been drawn up in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Department of Education and Science Circular Letter 22/02.
Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 gives parents the right to appeal certain decisions made by a school board of management, or a person acting on behalf of a board, to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science.
2. Decisions which may be Appealed
Currently, Section 29 of the Education Act provides that the following decisions may be appealed to the Secretary General:
(i) Permanent exclusion from a school;
(ii) Suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year; or
(iii) Refusal to enrol.
It should be noted that the procedures have been designed to deal specifically with the three issues identified at (i) to (iii) above. The procedures are not designed for and cannot be invoked to deal with matters that do not come within these three categories.
Furthermore an appeal to the Secretary General under the Section 29 procedures cannot be made, and will not be accepted, until all procedures at local level have been exhausted. In effect, the matter that is the subject of the appeal will have had to have been referred to the Board of Management of the school and the Board will have had to issue its decision in the matter.
3. Timeframe for making Appeals
Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent(s).
Accordingly, the Board of Management will advise parents of this right of appeal and associated timeframe when informing them of any of the above categories of decisions.
The Board will make available to parents the information on the appeals procedure, as set out in the Appendix to Circular 22/02. This information deals with:
• The categories of decisions which can be appealed.
• How to make an appeal.
• Processing of an appeal.
• Composition of Appeals Committee.
• Facilitation process.
• Appeals hearing.
• Determination of appeals.
• Review of procedures.
The Board will also make available to parents a copy of the Section 29 Appeals Application Form, which is attached to this policy as Appendix I.
4. Procedures to be followed
The detailed procedures that apply to all appeals to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science, under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, are outlined in the appendix to Circular 22/02. In brief, there are three layers to these procedures:
a) Both parties will be asked in the first instance to see if an accommodation can be reached at local level;
b) Should that fail, and where the Appeals Committee considers that it may be possible to facilitate agreement between the appellant and school, a facilitator will be appointed to contact the parties at the earliest opportunity;
c) Finally, an appeal may be referred for hearing by an Appeals Committee established by the Minister for Education and Science.
Queries relating to the Appeals Procedure outlined in Circular 22/02 should be directed to Primary Administration Section 2, Department of Education and Science, Athlone, Co. Westmeath (Tel. (0902) 83721 – 83725 between the hours of 11.30 am to 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm).
All references in the Appendix to Circular 22/02 to the Appeals Administration Unit should be regarded as a reference to Primary Administration Section 2 until further notice.
This policy was sanctioned by the Board of Management in December 2002.
It was reviewed in January 2005.
It was further reviewed in February 2008.