Expert, practical advice to academies and those converting to academy status

Highly experienced national education team advising on academy governance and conversions


Blake Morgan’s expert Academies team has extensive experience of advising schools, academies, free schools, sixth form colleges, and other education institutions on all aspects of the academy conversion or transfer process and on related governance matters for established academies. Our experience and skills help us to provide a focused, practical, process-driven service.

There are clear advantages to having access to all the legal services which academies need from one firm. We offer an integrated team of education, charity, regulatory, commercial, real estate, employment and pensions lawyers for academies. This means that we are able to deliver advice and training for all the legal needs of academies or those considering academisation.

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Main Areas Of Practice


Since the inception of the academy conversion programme, our Academies team has developed an established practice and a reputation for assisting schools through the academy conversion process from start to finish. Our track record on academy work includes:

Academy conversions

We act for sponsors, multi-academy trusts, diocesan authorities, sixth form colleges, schools and local authorities successfully guiding them through the conversion process.

PFI

Our Projects team is highly experienced in advising on PFI and similar funding structures for educational institutions.

Leadership and training

We provide regular training and briefings to governors and senior leadership staff.

Academy Governance

We provide ongoing governance advice on a wide range of matters to academy trust companies, ranging from changes to Articles of Association and key agreements to obtaining relevant consents from the regulators, drafting Schemes of Delegation and other contracts and agreements, and advising on data protection, employment and property matters.

Special Educational / Additional Learning Needs

We provide advice in relation to appeals brought by children, young people, their parents or case friends relating to Special Educational Needs and/or Additional Learning Needs (from 1 Sep 2021 onwards in Wales). From negotiations relating to EHCs, Statements or IDPs in an attempt to avoid an appeal to the Tribunal, to representation at and the administration of Tribunal proceedings (through to appeals to the Upper Tribunal), we have the expertise to assist Local Authorities, CCGs, Health Boards and educational institutions in relation to their roles and responsibilities throughout the process.

Our Clients


We act for a wide range of clients including large multi-academy trust companies (‘MATs’), diocesan authorities, single academy trust companies (‘SATs’), sponsors, charities, schools and sixth form colleges.

"I cannot thank you enough for the help and advice that was given during the conversion process… I would have no hesitation in recommending that other schools use your services and I am sure that we will again in the future."
- Previous academy converter client


"We are delighted to become the first sixth form college to academise and would like to thank the team at Blake Morgan for guiding us through the process. With their experience in the education sector, Blake Morgan was an obvious choice when selecting a legal advisor. We were impressed by their professionalism, commitment and ability to complete the conversion process successfully."
- Former Principal, Hereford Sixth Form College


"The school… could not have been in better hands."
- Project Lead, Department for Education


Highlights


Our expert education lawyers have advised over 100 schools on the conversion process, in a number of different local authority areas across the country including special schools, pupil referral units and sponsored schools. This included advising on an academy conversion with complex land arrangements involving third party organisations and unusual arrangements around the use and ownership of the land. 


We advised on the academy conversion of Hereford Sixth Form College which became the first sixth form college to convert to academy status in March 2017.


We advised an established charity on setting up a multi-academy trust company in order to sponsor schools converting to academies, including advising on sponsor arrangements and governance.


Our Experts


Ben
Brice
Legal Director

Reading

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Kirsteen
Hook
Senior Associate

Southampton

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Laura
Sherratt
Senior Solicitor

Reading

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Anna
Larbi
Legal Director

Southampton

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Rachel
Sales
Senior Associate

Oxford

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Eve
Piffaretti
Partner

Cardiff

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Joanna
Corbett-Simmons
Senior Associate

Cardiff

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Daniel
Taylor
Lawyer - Chartered Legal Executive

Cardiff

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