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President for new learning support tribunal

24 October 2005

Jessica Burns has been appointed President of the Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland by Education Minister Peter Peacock.

The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland were established by the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004, which aims to create a better system for supporting those children and young people who face the biggest barriers to learning.

The creation of the tribunal marks a fundamental change in the way cases are brought concerning provision for such children: cases were previously heard in the sheriff court. The president will have an important role to play in establishing the tribunal's reputation for independent and expert adjudication in questions between parents and education authorities.

Miss Burns, who lives in Glasgow, has been regional chair of the Appeals Tribunal (Central Region of England) since 2001. This judicial appointment by the Lord Chancellor will continue. Prior to that appointment, she was a district chairman for the Glasgow area for nine years. In her career she has also served on the Parole Board for Scotland, lectured at Aberdeen and Glasgow Universities and practised as a solicitor on her own account.

The appointment runs from 1 October 2005 until 30 September 2010. The President’s remuneration will be £455 per day and Miss Burns is expected to work one day a week.