Convener

The office of the Convener of the School Closure Review Panels was established on 9 January 2015 by virtue of section 17A of the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.

The office of the Convener is a public appointment. The Scottish Government ran the appointment process, and confirmed the appointment of Iain Nisbet as Convener, commencing on 12 January 2015.

The Convener is appointed for a period of up to five years and is eligible for reappointment thereafter. The current holder of the office of the Convener, Iain Nisbet, is appointed for five years.

Functions (role and remit)

The Convener’s main statutory functions are to appoint a number of persons eligible to serve as members of a School Closure Review Panel and, in the event of a call-in, to select three members to form a Panel.  The Convener selects one of the members to be the Chair of the Panel. In making these decisions on appointments and selections, the Convener is independent of the Scottish Government and any other body or individual.  The Convener is responsible for providing the Panels with necessary staff and services for the delivery of their functions as well as making appropriate arrangements for training the persons eligible to be selected to serve as Panel members.  The Convener has no influence on the review carried out by a Panel.

The Convener is ultimately accountable to the Scottish Ministers and is to produce an annual report to the Scottish Ministers on the exercise of his and any Panel’s functions during that year. The report is also to be published.

Remuneration and Expenses

The Convener is entitled to receive a fee of £200 per day for every 7.5 hours (excluding meal breaks) devoted to performing his functions (as required) on a pro rata basis, up to a maximum total fee of £8,000 per financial year.  Time exceeding 40 days in any financial year is not remunerated. However, in exceptional cases, the Scottish Government may approve additional remuneration.

The Convener is entitled to be reimbursed for expenses that are necessary or expedient for the proper discharge of his functions. Rates are equal to those set by the Scottish Government for its staff.

To see the role of the Convener in a wider context, go to Process & Decision Making.

Iain Nisbet
Iain NisbetConvener
Iain is an independent education law consultant. He a member of the school attendance council in his local area, and a former non-executive director of Education Scotland. He works as a consultant solicitor with Cairn Legal, providing representation, training and advice on all aspects of education law. He is the divisional editor (education) for W. Green’s Scottish Social Work Legislation service.