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Education

As a firm with a reputation for ‘getting things done’, our education clients appreciate our clear, commercial advice and our focus on providing practical, cost-effective answers.

We are top-ranked in the legal directories for a range of legal services, our education team draws on expertise from across the firm. We pride ourselves on our approachability, accessibility, and our commitment to delivering a 5-star service to all our clients.

We act for universities; colleges; independent schools; community schools; free schools; academies; nurseries; grammar schools and not for- profit organisations with an interest in education. We know how schools and colleges work, and the pressures they face, understanding that they need a responsive, technically capable, supportive, and pragmatic team on their side.

"It is extremely useful to work with someone local, who knows our business and can support us when we need additional expert advice."

Eddie Tolcher, Foundation Bursar, Princethorpe College

Added value

Our focus is on building long-lasting close relationships with our education clients, through:

  • discounted seminars and webinars
  • staff training workshops, e.g. data protection, IP, contracts
  • supporting your careers’ fairs, career mentoring, CV workshops and work placements
  • school estates review programme
  • comprehensive retainer packages: legal, property and employment/HR
  • many of our colleagues are or have been, governors to local schools.

Corporate

We have experience of working with a large number of academies, schools, and the FE/HE sector, and we are well placed to provide the full range of legal services required to assist schools in the conversion process, and beyond.

Our education experience includes advising on all aspects of managing people, property and governance and our commercial approach to pricing legal projects provides a cost competitive solution for schools before and after conversion.

  • academy conversion.
  • collaboration and site sharing agreements.
  • mergers and acquisition.
  • company secretarial services.

We have individual lawyers with extensive past experience of acting on a large number of academy conversions including single academy conversions and multi-academy trust conversions and providing a range of legal services post-conversion.
We understand that the conversion to academy status represents, for many schools, an important organisational change with new challenges for the school senior management team.

By working with us, the management team will have access to the full range of specialist advice to take it through every stage of the academy conversion process but also a local partner, offering support for the long term.

"This is a landmark project for the schools and we hugely appreciate the support provided by Wright Hassall in what has been a challenging and complex legal process."

Warwick Independent Schools Foundation

Data protection

We work with you to make sure the key people within your organisation are aware of the new data protection rules under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and of what effect the GDPR will have on the way the school is run.

  • compliance with all data protection and privacy legislation including GDPR.
  • compliance with Privacy Electronic Communications Regulations, Human Rights, Freedom of Information, safeguarding and associated regulation and codes of practice.
  • information and records management and security.
  • marketing data, privacy notices, internet usage and social media.
  • data breaches and reputation management.

Commercial contracts and procurement

  • advice on all commercial contracts, procurement, outsourcing and consortium arrangements.
  • review and negotiation of new and existing contracts.
  • intellectual property (IP) rights.
  • branding and trading names.

Debt recovery

  • collection of unpaid fees and other payments due.
  • review of credit control procedures.
  • litigation and enforcement.

Governance

  • governance structures & issues.
  • advice for governing bodies.
  • Charities Act compliance.

Employment and HR advice

  • disciplinary and grievance matters, including investigations.
  • discrimination and whistleblowing.
  • unfair dismissal, redundancy, and settlement agreements.
  • employee contracts and policies.
  • tribunal representation.
  • TUPE transfers.
  • change management and all HR issues including staff training e.g. appraisals.

Dealing with people matters can be complicated and time-consuming. Our highly regarded employment law team regularly advise on all aspects of employment law and, through our fixed fee employment law retainer service “YEAR” (Your Employment Annual Retainer), we are able to provide clients with a cost-effective solution to employment law matters. Our retainer is available to all of our education clients; please click here for more information

Property

  • site purchases, sales and lettings.
  • long and short-term leases.
  • site acquisition for setting up free schools and new independent schools.
  • licences for short-term occupation and site sharing arrangements e.g. nursery, before and after-school clubs, sport clubs, childrens’ centres and SEN unit subleases.
  • assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs)
  • property disputes (trespassing, boundaries, restrictive covenants, easements, Landlord & Tenant and possesion claims).
  • academy conversion projects (PFI and non-PFI).
  • HM Land Registry applications e.g. first registration of unregistered land, title defects.
  • ongoing estate management issues.
  • dealings with agricultural land.

Construction

  • professional services agreements, warranties, bonds and novations
  • building contracts for minor and major works including:
    • university campus and school redevelopment
    • teaching accommodation and sports facilities’ construction and refurbishment
    • design and build: traditional, frameworks and collaborative arrangements
  • supply chain integration.
  • PFI/PF2.
  • repair and maintenance agreements and facilities’ management arrangements.
  • dispute resolution and contract advisory services.

Commercial litigation

  • early dispute resolution, including mediation.
  • commercial disputes.
  • pension liabilities.

Business immigration

  • Tier 1 and indefinite leave to remain applications.
  • Tier 2 sponsor licences.
  • securing immigration visas.
  • Tier 4 student visas and ensuring compliance with Tier 4 recruitment.
  • immigration appeals.
  • advice to non-EEA nationals to maintain immigration.
  • compliance with immigration legislation.

We have been advising schools, colleges and universities for more than 25 year. We can advise on the legal aspects of the funding agreement and other key contracts; constitutional and governance arrangements; land and buildings-related issues, including playing fields; employment and TUPE issues; and other general transfer arrangements.

We have extensive knowledge and connections within the public sector including local authorities, EFSA/ DfE and other professional advisers.

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