Section 6 – Selection of members of children’s hearing
8.Section 6 makes provision for the selection of panel members to sit on a Children’s Hearing. The National Convener has a duty to ensure that a hearing consists of both male and female members of the panel and, wherever possible, they either work or live in the local authority area in which the hearing will sit. While the duty to ensure a gender balance is firm, there is a limited degree of flexibility that allows members of a Children’s Hearing to be drawn from a wider geographical area than the immediate local authority in which the hearing will be held. Subsection (4) provides that the National Convener may select one of the three members to act as chairing member in that hearing. Schedule 1, paragraph 14 places an obligation on the National Convener to delegate this function to the area support teams, defined in schedule 1.