Expert, practical advice to further education institutions across the UK
Recognised experts in further education
Blake Morgan’s Education team are recognised experts in helping further education institutions in all the areas where they need advice. We are proud to work in partnership with a number of further education clients to provide specialist, practical advice.
Our network of offices means we are particularly well-placed to advise in the further education sector in both England and Wales (where education is devolved to the Welsh Government).
Main Areas Of Practice
Our Education team is one of the most experienced of its kind. Our work includes:
Governance and regulation
Our team regularly advises clients on constitutional, statutory interpretation, probity, governance and associated public law matters. We understand the political and administrative environment within which public bodies and education institutions work and the interaction with European law, especially public procurement and state aid. We regularly act in judicial review proceedings and other public law cases (for example procurement challenges) throughout England and Wales.
Real estate and construction
We are able to draw on expertise from across our Construction, Project Management, Finance, Cost Management and Environment teams to ensure that all aspects of complex projects and transactions are delivered seamlessly.
Employment, pensions and benefits
Our Employment team deals with a wide range of issues cases for further education institutions. This includes advice and involvement in disciplinary and grievance cases and dealing with claims at the Employment Tribunal, including those requiring referral to the Education Workforce Council. We also advise on restructurings, redundancies, outsourcings, commercial spin-outs and TUPE transfers and the commercial and practical issues which arise in these cases.
We advised on mergers within the FE sector under the Welsh Government's Transformation Agenda and have extensive experience of both Type A and Type B mergers.
We have broad experience in relation to the Local Government Pension Scheme and the Teachers' Pension Scheme. Our experience includes dealing with member disputes, redundancy exercises, discrimination claims, local authority outsourcings, transfers between public sector schemes, tenders and re-tenders, Admission Agreements, financing and refinancing including funding negotiations and the use of contingent assets and the Pension Protection Fund.
Our Immigration team has particular experience in advising on all matters relating to Tier 2 licences, allowing employers to sponsor non-EU Nationals as employees and Tier 4 licences for Educational Institutions to sponsor foreign students.
Health and Safety
Our Critical Incident team provides a 24-hour legal response service in the event of an incident or emergency situation. Our experienced team of solicitors and barristers are on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support our further education clients in the event of any health and safety or critical incident.
Commercial, corporate, procurement and funding
Our lawyers advise on joint venture and collaborative arrangements involving further education clients, including collaborative arrangements between institutions and between FE institutions and businesses. We have also advised further education institutions on international contracts, including the establishment of branches abroad as well as collaborations with institutions outside the UK and related arrangements for funding, staff and student recruitment and teaching.
We have advised further education clients on IP ownership issues, licensing arrangements and drafting and negotiating internal IP protocols for staff and students.
We have a dedicated team who advise further education clients on this fast developing area of law. This includes all aspects of GDPR compliance including the review and variation of contracts with suppliers and other third parties and updating standard contract terms. We are the only law firm accredited by the British Computer Society to provide its Practitioner Certificate in Data Protection course.
Student discipline issues
Our education experts advise on all aspects of student discipline, suspension and exclusions.
Our legal teams are experienced in advising on a range of sensitive safeguarding issues. We also offer a 24/7 critical incident support service in the event of an emergency or crisis.
We work closely with colleges and other further education institutions to resolve conflicts quickly. We focus on finding a resolution so that you can focus on your students.
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.
We act for a number of further education institutions in England and Wales.
"They have a very good way of taking the legal jargon out of things and putting things into context."
- Chambers and Partners, 2020
"The substantial, multi-disciplinary team at Blake Morgan LLP is highlighted for providing 'excellent service'."
- Legal 500, 2019
"Practitioners have extensive experience handling transactions, charity and immigration matters for a range of higher… education clients. Also recommended for advice on governance and administration, student discipline, SENDIST matters and overseas campuses. Offers a formidable contentious practice."
- Chambers and Partners, 2019
"A client praises the team for providing 'an excellent service', adding: 'The partner handled the matter personally, it was reasonably priced, and it was completed to a very short deadline.'"
- Chambers and Partners, 2019
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