Important Notice: Arrangements for Section 29 appeals during the Covid 19 emergency
Having regard to the current public health guidance, alternative arrangements have been put in place for the hearing and processing of appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998. These arrangements are set out in addenda to the existing procedures which have been determined by the Minister following consultation with the education partners and will apply until the public health advice permits a return to the previous arrangements.
The addenda are available here:
Addendum to the Procedures for Hearing and Determining Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 on certain changes that will apply during the Covid19 public health emergency
Addendum to the Procedures for Hearing and Determining Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 in respect of Education and Training Board (ETB schools) on certain changes that will apply for the duration of the Covid 19 public health emergency
In the case of a school which is established or maintained by an Education and Training Board (ETB), the appeal against the decision of the board of management of the school shall be made, in the first instance, to its ETB.
An appeal may be made by:
the parent/guardian of the student concerned
or by the student, where the student is aged 18 years or over
or by the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency (EWS) in respect of a decision to permanently exclude a student from the school, or refusal to enrol a student in the school.
Submitting an appeal
Complete Section 29 Appeals Application Form
and send it, along with a letter confirming the decision of the board of management, to: Section 29 Appeals Unit Administration Unit, Department of Eduction and Skills, Friar’s Mill Road, Mullingar, Westmeath, N91 H30Y.
The letter must be signed by a board of management member; title of signatory must clearly state board of management membership or secretary to the board. The appeal should be submitted within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the board of management was notified to the appellant.
The parties to the appeal (appellant and school) will be notified by letter that the appeal has been admitted. The letter will contain information relating to all stages of the appeal process including the date the appeal hearing is scheduled for.
The parties to the appeal are encouraged to resolve the issue of the appeal. Where there is failure to reach agreement at a local level, a facilitator will attempt to broker an agreement between both parties to the appeal. The appointed facilitator will meet with both parties to the appeal separately. Where agreement is not possible, within the relevant time constraints, the facilitator will submit their report to the administration unit and the case will be referred for hearing.
Appeals are heard within a 30 day period from the date the appeal is admitted; this period can be extended by up to 14 days in exceptional circumstances.
A section 29 appeals committee consists of 3 persons; an Inspector and 2 such other persons as the Minister considers appropriate (one of whom will act as chairperson). At the hearing, the parties to the appeal will be given an opportunity to present their case. Both will have the right to reply and each will have the right to question the other through the chairperson. Hearings are conducted with the minimum of formality consistent with giving all parties to the appeal a fair hearing.
After the appeal hearing
As soon as practicable, the Secretary General, or an officer assigned the responsibility by the Secretary General, shall notify the parties to the appeal, in writing, of the determination of the appeal.