How we can help

HR

Schools, their leadership teams and governors need experienced legal and HR advisers who understand the complexities and sensitivities of schools. Our team of employment and education solicitors support educational establishments of all types including academies, multi-academy trusts, independent and authority maintained schools.

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We have one of the largest commercial property teams in the Midlands, many of our team have gained their experience at larger national firms and there is very little we have not dealt with. Our approach is necessarily commercial, proactive and solution-based and our aim is to maximise transaction speed and efficiencies whilst minimising risk. We act for a wide range of clients in both the public sector and private, both locally and nationally.

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Our team have extensive experience of assisting further education clients through the attainment of new campus developments and campus renovations, we regularly work alongside the Further Education client’s project manager to remove as much of the attainment burden from the client.

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Admissions

John Walker has worked with schools, academies and local authorities on their admission policies for many years. John has valuable experience in supporting schools through changes to their admissions, the consultation process and challenges to the office and the school adjudicator.

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Governance

Governance in schools is increasingly a focus of interest from both central government as well as OFSTED. Changes to the Governor’s Handbook, the Academy Financial Handbook, guidance notes and regulatory changes continue to pose challenges and provide opportunities for schools and academies to retain their identity, promote their individual ethos and ensure that pupils and students get the very best.

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Exclusions

Exclusion is a fixed term period of suspension; this is a potential minefield for head teachers and governor discipline committees. Maintaining school discipline, managing behaviour and ensuring compliance with relevant guidelines, policies and legal obligations is key. The interaction between various school policies, the need to be mindful of any special educational needs and disability factors as well as balancing the needs of the school with potentially vulnerable, yet disruptive pupils who could benefit from external support.

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Regulatory matters

Compliance can be incredibly complicated for schools, aside from specific education regulations and Code of Practice, there is a much wider regulatory landscape. Obligations under company law, charity law, Data Protection Act, Code of Practice are all examples of other areas where compliance is absolutely essential.

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SEN

Special Educational Needs (SEN) and disability considerations in a school environment continue to be high on the agenda and can take up a lot of time. The new SEN Code of Practice emphasises children with medical conditions and ensures that they are being properly cared for in school, furthermore, the impact of the Equality Act 2010 combine and place various responsibilities on the school staff.

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Conversions

Our team of specialist education solicitors understand education and more importantly the specific challenges facing schools that are looking into acadamisation and trusts or academies who are looking to expand. We offer a fixed fee service, managed by a solicitor with over 15 years of education and governance experience, we can advise and assist on the conversion process itself but equally we can help with the initial set up of a trust from scratch.

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Commercial

Our Commercial team have provided advice and assistance to organisations within the education sector for over a decade. As a team, we understand the importance of working in partnership with you to ensure that we help you create strong and effective contractual relationships with your suppliers which deliver value for money. We advise our clients on effective procurement strategies, due diligence on potential suppliers and any compliance issues associated with contracts.

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Family

Family dynamics are ever changing and you will often find yourselves liaising with numerous different adults who are all claiming to have responsibility for the same child. Our Family team can offer detailed advice about the rights of parents and those with Parental Responsibility; providing assistance with day to day issues and conflicts that may arise.

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