Academy Schools

Posted by Matthew Smith, 17th March 2016
Education is one of Blake Morgan’s core areas of focus and our specialist lawyers provide a comprehensive range of legal services and support to education providers and individuals. Our team provides expert commercial, regulatory and compliance advice to over 75 schools.

Our services

We draw together experience and skills from across the firm to provide pragmatic and commercial advice on:

  • Constitutions and governance
  • Charities Act and charity law regulation
  • Company law compliance
  • The Master Funding Agreement
  • Pupil discipline and special needs education
  • Admissions and appeals
  • Pastoral issues
  • Health and safety and child protection
  • Information governance, including data protection and freedom of information
  • Governor training and trustee duties
  • Employment and pensions
  • Fundraising law and practice
  • Legacies, charitable donations and endowments
  • Collaboration with other schools
  • Taking on additional schools
  • Property, planning and construction
  • Renewal of joint use agreements
  • Trading and maximizing the Academy’s brand

In addition to the above areas of specialisation, we also regularly provide added value services such as secondments of staff and contributing to knowledge transfer (e.g. e-bulletins, guest lectures, contributions to legal text-books, entrepreneurial legal services and conference attendance and participation).

Fixed Fee Service

We have also created an annual fixed service to help control the costs of day to day legal support for converted Academy Schools to provide ongoing support.


  • The service is provided for an annual fixed fee and can be paid on an annual or monthly basis.
  • On demand advice on day-to-day legal issues from expert lawyers by phone, email or in person on all areas including up to two hours advice on every query.
  • Regular updates on the law affecting academy schools.
  • Two free places on annual governance training courses for directors and governors of academy trust companies.
  • Half price places on all other training courses run by the firm.
  • Discounted rates on all work not covered by the package.

The legal support service for academies can be tailored to a school’s needs. For example many schools take separate advice on employment and health and safety.

We can also offer the following as part of the package or as separate services if required:

  • Employment and Pensions
  • Health and safety
  • Company secretarial services

The package can be tailored to academies’ individual needs and prices range from £2,500 to £4,750 plus VAT for the first year, depending on the size of school.


We act for a wide range of clients including:

Maintained schoolsUniversities
Special needs schoolsFree Schools
Faith schoolsEducational charities
Pupil Referral UnitsEducational businesses
Hospital SchoolsIndividuals
Academies and multi-academy trustsSixth Form Colleges

Significant experience

Examples that highlight the Education team’s broad range of skills and experience include:

  • Advising a multi-academy trust company on taking on a failing school, including advice on the changes to the funding agreement, amending the articles of the company and advising on the new governance structure and the relationship between the two schools.
  • Advising a multi-academy trust company on a challenge to the admissions arrangements for a pupil with special needs.
  • Advising on the termination of a commercial contract for the provision of school uniform.
  • Advising on the dismissal of a member of teaching staff.
  • Advising a group of multi-academy trusts on their legal responsibilities for special needs provision in their schools.

Pro-bono work

  • PRIME (one of the founding members of this profession-wide initiative, which creates fair access to quality work experience for young people from less privileged backgrounds).
  • Oxfordshire County Council (providing a lawyer for their School Admissions and Appeals Panel)
  • Several lawyers in the firm also sit as Governors of schools, FE and HEI institutions and educational charities

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