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When the education sector is changing all around you, the last thing you need is an inflexible legal team.

We’re always looking for ways we can support our education sector clients more – developing innovative products to help you manage your legal requirements cost effectively.

With a national team of legal experts we’re proud of our joined up approach to working with the education sector.  We understand that you’re looking for us to be as flexible as the sector in which you work. Responding to structural changes, increasing regulation and funding challenges.  

We deliver advice that really works for organisations like yours.  It matters to us that we’re able to help you make better decisions and achieve the goals you need to – whether commercial or educational.  We work hard to put ourselves in your shoes, so that we’re anticipating your needs. Most importantly, we understand that balancing a competitive environment, commercial objectives, governance and regulations with your commitment to learning, has to stay at the forefront of everything we do.  

Our team has a broad and deep experience of working with education providers and suppliers, ranging from universities, FE colleges, independent schools, academy trusts and free schools, through to local authorities, governing bodies, diocesan trustees and boards of education as well as suppliers to the sector.  This commitment to protecting organisations in the education sector gives our lawyers a deeper insight, meaning our advice has more context and depth. 

We understand that you can’t just take our word for it, however. That’s why we’ve invested time in listening to our clients and maintained membership of the APUC and Crescent Purchasing Consortium (CPC). As a result the diverse nature of our client base – reflective of this rapidly evolving sector – combined with an innovative range of services makes us stand out as a legal provider you can trust.

"They listen to the client at all stages and take time to explain the implications of the documentations we are presented with. The client is always put first." 

"A seamless team who have a deep understanding of schools and education law issues."

Chambers 2017

Get in touch

Partner
T:+44 (0)191 279 9747

What we do

We have particular experience in the following areas:

  • Governance
  • Campus redevelopment
  • Funding agreements
  • Health and safety
  • Employment (both contentious and non-contentious)
  • Academy conversions
  • Establishing school trading companies
  • FOI and data security
  • Procurement
  • Construction contracts
  • Leases and shared occupation
  • Pensions (particularly LGPS deficit issues)
  • Commercial contracts e.g. catering and ICT
  • Dispute resolution
  • Admissions and exclusions.

Sector expertise

Examples of work

University in the South West

  • We have advised on a variety of matters for the university including revising the disciplinary procedure and student code of conduct in relation to examinations, academic work and behaviour at the university; advising the estates/health & safety departments on potential civil and criminal liability matters; reviewing a contract relating to the provision of research relating to the General Medical Council’s fitness to practice procedures, and advice in relation to the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 and the disposal of a college site.

FE College in Yorkshire

  • We advised an FE College in Yorkshire formed following the merger of three separate colleges.  As a merged entity, there was a considerable amount of work to be done in rationalising the property portfolio. We have advised on a variety of such projects over the last three years. We have undertaken projects including the acquisition of a city centre industrial site which includes a number of separate works contracts, professional service contracts and appointments, warranties, bonds and guarantees (a number of these contracts are based on local frameworks), and assisting in consolidating the college’s existing property portfolio, and general leasehold portfolio litigation and transactional advice.

Education Funding Agency

  • We continue to advise the EFA and DfE on the flagship Free Schools programme which includes UTCs and Studio Schools.  Our work includes advising on site acquisition, construction, procurement, planning, tax and miscellaneous commercial matters.  We advise on free school projects right across England, including many schemes in London.

Advising multiple governing bodies on their conversion to Academy status

  • We have now been involved in over 200 conversions across England from the Scottish Borders to Kent.  Examples include Castle Trust, Medway; Waterton Trust, Wakefield; Greenacre Academy, Rochester; Carmel Education Trust, Darlington; Ascent Academies Trust, Sunderland and Kings Science Academy, Bradford.

School in Newcastle Upon Tyne

  • The trustees of another charitable trust approached our client to take on its trusteeship, ensuring its future management and administration. The nature of the trust was complex and our client asked us to produce a report on the viability of it becoming trustee, the associated risk and the process involved. We liaised with the Charity Commission to secure a scheme to appoint our client as the trustee, and prepared a deed for the outgoing trustees to retire. The primary asset of the trust was commercial property so we advised on the property acquisition and transfer. Our client has subsequently benefited from the income of the trust (used to support its educational bursary trust) and thus securing education for youngsters.