Life in the education sector never stands still. Constant change comes in the form of new policies and governance, ever tightening budgets, expansion of facilities and the day to day management and development of staff.
These changes can present challenges, which is why it is a good idea to seek expert advice to help you safeguard your organisation both now, and in the future.
Based in York and Lincoln, but with a nationwide reputation in acting for and advising nurseries, schools, academies, multi-academy trusts, colleges, local authorities and universities nationwide, our education solicitors have the specific expertise needed to help you navigate the varying and often complex legal challenges faced by the education sector.
What we do and where we specialise
Since acting for the first Primary School in the country to take Academy status under the Academies Act on 1 September 2010 our Education Team has gone on to represent a wide range of schools, including Church of England schools, schools subject to a PFI Agreement, Free Schools, Special Schools and Alternative Provision Academies.
Whether you are looking at forming a MAT or are a MAT with expansion plans, we can help. We can assist with all aspects of the academy conversion process, drafting all your relevant funding agreements and, if requested, changing your articles of association, and setting up a new company for you at Companies House.
We will negotiate with the Local Authority on your behalf the terms of a Commercial Transfer Agreement to transfer the school’s assets and contracts to the new trust. We can assist with any employment and HR obligations arising from the TUPE transfer of the school staff and will deal with the transfer of the school’s land and buildings to the MAT and land issues arising.
Our team can help you with:
Academy conversions and growth plans
Converting to Academy status or joining, creating, or expanding a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) can be a daunting prospect. Every school is unique with its own challenges and we have the expertise to guide you through the process.
Are you confident that your admission arrangements and appeals processes are Code compliant? We can advise you on any issue relating to admission arrangements and support you in dealing with any appeals or objections.
If you’re looking to create a MAT structure, combine with other schools or expand your MAT, we can help you ensure your governance structure is compliant with your Articles of Association and fit for purpose and, both now and in the future.
Collaborating with another school or MAT to buy in a service can create efficiencies and provide you with access to a resource that as an independent organisation, you might not be able to justify or afford. We can advise on the best way forward for all parties involved.
Human Resources and Employment
We know that you need a motivated, effective, happy, and healthy workforce to deliver the highest standard of education. We can help you excel at managing all your staffing matters and problems that arise.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
Understanding the complexities of the SEND framework can be challenging. We can provide help and guidance, representing your organisation should you face a SEND Tribunal.
Keeping up with the constant changes in employment law is difficult. Our bespoke training for educational professionals helps keep you ahead of the curve.
Additional Legal Support
From property advice to dispute resolution, we understand that your educational facility may have broader legal business needs.
Student exclusions and appeals are strictly governed and it is important to understand your legal rights and responsibilities. We can help guide you through the process.
From discrimination claims to safeguarding allegations, if you are facing a complaint, we can provide straightforward robust advice and practical solutions.
How we work
Based in York and Lincoln, our team of specialist Education Law solicitors work alongside your school, offering practical advice to help you navigate the rule and requirements of converting to Academy status, all at a fixed cost. Our approach has been praised by the Legal 500, recognising our “ outstanding service with exemplary legal knowledge”, along with our advice being consistently “sound and pragmatic, based on a good understanding of business context and needs”.
We pride ourselves on our ability to get under the skin of your organisation, understanding your objectives and aspirations and providing you with bespoke, solution-focused advice, allowing you to get on with what you do best, educating.