Panels do look at projects. We're occasionally presented them by the parents. It's even been known for each of us to be presented with a colour photocopy, nicely bound. Very attractive. And because they're part of the appeal documentation, yes, we do look at them.
However, I get handed a large box full of appeals documents for 2 or 3 days of appeals. There's only so much time I have to study these things, so the amount of time I spend looking at the project is likely to be quite small, especially if there's routine work there.
As Denis said :
Surely, any panel or whoever would know that a lot of parents would of got involved in these projects (and some have done 99% of the work I know) just in case it is used in an appeal.
Absolutely. We're not silly. Most of us know how these projects are done.
Now in my personal case, our assistance for DD's Y5 term 1 project (Rivers) was
1) providing a day trip over to Hereford, shopping there, us & DD taking 'photos of the Wye (us taking the ones DD wanted to be in), then driving down to Chepstow with stops at Ross, Symonds Yat, & Tintern for peaks at information boards, photo ops and the like. This had to be fun for both children. Then downloading the pics onto a PC for DD to select & print.
2) Suggesting the Rhine for 3rd chapter (I'd got a book about rivers, flood controls & the like in The Netherlands).
3) Taking her on trips to the library for her to find other books.
That's it. All we did. But I know other parents who did a lot, lot more. So I don't personally put a lot of weight onto projects when given them.