Responsive, professional and understands the sector.
Our Education team has developed considerable expertise in advising on Academy conversions. Current clients range from individual schools (primary, secondary and special needs schools) through to multi-academy providers. We act for two multi-academy providers: E-ACT and CfBT Schools Trust. We are currently advising an educational charity to establish a new multi-academy trust which plans to focus on primary schools.
Services for Academies and Free Schools
• Governance: the DfE model articles of association will need to be adopted by the company if they have not already been adopted; advice on populating the governing body; assistance and advice with company administration as necessary. Free Schools are academies and exempt charities; a sector in which we are specialists.
• Funding agreement with the DfE: we will provide guidance on the DfE model funding agreement and assist in negotiating with the DfE as needed.
• Consultation: we can advise on the requirements of public consultations and decision making, including the obligation to have due regard to public sector equality duties.
• Real estate agreement: a transfer of freehold or a lease of land and buildings will be needed. Whilst Partnership for Schools will provide the legal work for real estate transactions, we can provide support where there are conflicts of interest or just a light touch second opinion. We can advise on all aspects of the acquisition and refurbishment of real estate.
• Employment contracts: standard employment contracts for teaching and non teaching staff will be needed together with the usual employment Policies.
• Contracts: we can advise on the whole range of contracts needed for the running of a school from leasing agreements for photocopiers, for example, through ICT software licences to specialised consultancy contracts for specific educational services.
• Intellectual property: as an educational institution the FreeSchool will be both using and creating intellectual property. We can advise on all aspects of this – from website agreements to social networking sites through to publishing contracts.
• Regulatory law: we can advise on all aspects of running a school. We can provide guidance on the independent school regulations, on data protection, health and safety, child protection, freedom of information, admissions, special educational needs, safeguarding etc.
• Public procurement: this is relevant for the initial start-up phase but understanding and being able to apply the rules sensibly and proportionately on an ongoing basis is important.
Issues to Consider
For schools considering Academy conversion, we have produced the following document covering the key considerations which you may find helpful: Academy Conversion: issues to consider
BWB Education Forum
The Education team organises and hosts round table lunches for the BWB Education Forum to discuss key issues relating to academies and free schools. BWB encourages clients to participate in the round table discussions. See BWB Education Forum Summary Notes of all these round tables.