School Closure Review Panels are independent statutory bodies which have been created to enhance and strengthen the process of local authority school closures in Scotland. On 30 March 2015 the School Closure Review Panels took over responsibility from the Scottish Ministers for reviewing and determining local authority school closure decisions which are called-in. The Panels received their powers through amendments to the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.
Panel Member duties and responsibilities
The Convener is responsible for appointing and maintaining a pool of people who will be eligible to be School Closure Review Panel members, who will be selected to serve on individual Panels as required. The Convener is recruiting some new members to be part of this eligible pool of individuals. The Convener is responsible for providing leadership and support to Panel Members as they deliver their statutory responsibilities.
The Convener is required to select 3 members from the pool of suitable experiences members to form a School Closure Review Panel to determine each case, and to identify a Chair for each individual Panel. Responsibility for the review of a closure proposal, once it has been called-in, and for its determination, lies with the School Closure Review Panel. The Convener is not directly involved in Panel decisions, but does co-ordinate the work of the Panels. Although difficult to predict, it is estimated that no more than five or six proposals a year would be called in and referred to the Convener. In 2015, only two proposals were called in. For some proposals, the Panel may require additional advice from Education Scotland, or from other stakeholders. Administrative support, based in Edinburgh is available to Panels.
Skills, knowledge and experience required
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:
- evidence of managing tasks involving reading complex written documents and working to deadlines;
- experience of making effective and reasoned decisions;
- the ability to produce high quality written work and to have good verbal communication skills;
- the ability to work well with others as part of a team; and
- some awareness of the issues involved in school closure consultations in Scotland.
Evidence of legal experience is also highly desirable.
Remuneration of £200 per day (which is non-pensionable) is payable. Allowances at rates set centrally for any travel and subsistence costs necessarily incurred on School Closure Review Panel business will be reimbursed.
Ideally, you should be able to make a firm commitment to spend up to 10 days per year on Panel business. This time will be a mix of training; Panel meetings; reading documents; analysis and decision making.
Location of meetings
Administrative support for the Panels is based in Edinburgh, and induction and other training is likely to take place in Edinburgh, too. Much of the work of School Closure Review Panels, once convened, can be performed remotely and meetings can be arranged at locations which are convenient to the members.
You are disqualified from being appointed as a Panel Member if you are a member of:
- the Scottish Parliament;
- the House of Commons;
- the House of Lords;
- the European Parliament; or
- a local authority
To apply, please submit a covering letter and CV to email@example.com. In addition, please also submit a separate word document detailing answers to the following two questions:
- In no more than 500 words, please give an example of a time you worked with others to reach an effective and reasoned decision. Please state what you did, why you did it and what the outcome was.
- In no more than 500 words, please give an example of a time when you had to read and analyse complex written documents in a short timescale. Please detail how you managed this task and what the outcome was.
Closing date for applications is 28th October 2016 at 5pm.