If applied for by parents within the legal time frame, the local authority or (in the case of an academy) the academy trust must, at their own expense, arrange for an IRP (independent review panel) hearing to review the decision of a governing board not to reinstate a permanently excluded pupil.DfE Suspension and Permanent Exclusion Guidance Pg 49 Paragraph 148
The Independent review panel does not have the power to direct a governing board to reinstate an excluded pupil. The review panel can decide to
• uphold the governing board’s decision;
• recommend that the governing board reconsiders reinstatement; or
• quash the decision and direct that the governing board reconsiders reinstatement.
You can find further detailed information about the IRP process in the DfE Suspension and Exclusion Guidance.
The IRP panel are looking at the following three tests
1. Illegality – did the governing board act outside the scope of its legal powers in deciding that the pupil should not be reinstated?
2. Irrationality – did the governing board rely on irrelevant points, fail to take account of all relevant points, or make a decision so unreasonable that no governing board acting reasonably in such circumstances could have made it?
3. Procedural impropriety – was the governing board’s consideration so procedurally unfair or flawed that justice was clearly not done?