The Convener of School Closure Review Panels is now recruiting persons who will be eligible to be Panel Members.
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 Convener and Panels took over responsibility from the Scottish Ministers for reviewing and determining local authority school closure decisions which are called-in by Ministers.
Duties and responsibilities
The Convener and Panels were established by, and have prescribed powers and duties under, the Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010.
The Convener is responsible for appointing and maintaining a pool of persons who will be eligible to be Panel Members. Once a school closure decision is called in by Scottish Ministers, the Convener is required to select three individuals from the pool of persons eligible to be Panel Members to form a Panel to determine each case, and to identify a Chair for each Panel.
Once a Panel is established, responsibility for the review of a closure proposal and for its determination lies with the Panel. The Convener is not involved in Panel decisions.
Administrative support, organised by the Convener, is provided to the Panels.
It is difficult to predict the number of school closure decisions that will be called in by Scottish Ministers. The original estimated was five or six proposals a year, but since 2015 only four Panels have been established to review decisions. Two of those have taken place this year.
Skills, knowledge and experience required
The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate:
- legal knowledge and experience;
- 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.
Remuneration of £200 per day (which is non-pensionable) is payable. Expenses for travel and subsistence relating to the Panels will be reimbursed.
Ideally, you should be able to make a firm commitment to spend up to ten 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. However, due to COVID-19 and the related restrictions, induction and training in the coming months is likely to be provided via video link. Much of the work of any Panel can be performed remotely, with support from the administrative team.
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 protected]. 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.
Applications must be submitted by close on 9 November 2020.