Expert education lawyers providing specialist legal advice to schools

Recognised experts in education advice to maintained, academy, independent and free schools


Blake Morgan’s Education team are recognised experts in helping schools and other education providers in all the areas where they need advice. We are proud to work in partnership with maintained, academy, independent and free schools across England and Wales to provide specialist, practical advice from our network of offices.

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Main Areas Of Practice


We have a very experienced team of education lawyers. Our experience includes:

Governance and administration

Over recent years the educational landscape has changed significantly for schools. Our education experts stay up to date with proposed and upcoming changes to education law and regulation. We understand what these changes mean for your school and are able to provide commercial, pragmatic advice on all areas of governance and administration.

Mergers of education providers

Mergers between education providers are growing in popularity. Our education experts understand the key issues and can help you secure a successful outcome for you and your school.

Funding arrangements

Our education experts work with you to secure the best funding arrangements to meet your needs. This includes banking finance and funding for development.

DfE and local authority matters

We keep up to date with the latest advice from the DfE and updates from our local government team to ensure we are one step ahead and understand how changes to policy and regulations will impact you and your school. Where appropriate we can help represent and liaise with the DfE or your local authority.

Faith schools and academies

We are experienced in advising diocesan authorities on all legal aspects relating to faith schools and academies.

Employment and pensions

Our Education team draw on expertise from our employment experts to provide specialist advice on a range of HR and employment issues to both private and public sector education clients.

Equality and discrimination

We help our education clients better understand how the Equality Act 2010 applies to them to help foster an inclusive environment for the benefit of staff and students.

Data protection

Education institutions hold a wealth of data on their students, partners and employees. We help you navigate the data protection laws including GDPR and Freedom of Information to ensure that your information is secure and compliant.

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.

Child protection

Our education experts support you in safeguarding and promoting the welfare of your students and are experienced in advising on sensitive matters including child protection, safeguarding and health and safety. We also offer a 24/7 critical incident service in the event of a crisis or emergency.

Fitness to practice

If the conduct or performance of a member of your teaching staff is called into question, our education experts work closely with our regulatory team to provide expert advice.

Pupil and parental conduct

Our education experts advise on all aspects of pupil discipline, suspension and exclusions. We also advise in relation to the consequences of parental conduct.

Finance

Our expert team advises on financial arrangements including shared equity arrangements, fast track debt collection and security, consumer credit, staff loans and financial regulation.

Procurement

Whether you are exchanging contracts for commercial services or making an investment in facilities for your school, we are able to help you secure the best outcome for you and your students.

Property

We advise schools on managing their property portfolio from planning and construction right through to development and disposals. Our experience covers school buildings land, playing fields, staff residences and shared leisure or community facilities.

Dispute management

We work closely with schools to resolve conflicts quickly. We focus on finding a resolution so that you can focus on your students.

Income generation

From fundraising and legacies, schools are taking a commercial approach to income generation and our education experts have the knowledge and experience to help drive forward and generate new income for your school.

Academy conversions and free schools

We act for schools, single academy trusts, multi-academy trusts and sponsored converters (amongst others).

Our Clients


Our clients include maintained and independent schools, free schools, academies and multi-academy trusts, educational charities, educational businesses, local authorities and (in appropriate cases) individuals and parents.

An impressed client characterises the firm as "slick and effective," saying: "They grasp situations quickly by listening to us, understanding our position and making the necessary recommendations about what we need to do and how to do it."
- Chambers and Partners, 2020


"Blake Morgan LLP's multi-disciplinary team, which is made up of litigators and corporate, real estate and employment specialists among others, provides 'an excellent service'."
- Legal 500, 2019


"Advises on complex funding and equality issues. Expertise in all aspects of safeguarding, employment matters and academy conversions. Comprehensive education offering for free, maintained, academy and independent schools. Acts for charitable trusts on matters concerning the Charity Commission. Strengths: A client says: 'They provided an excellent service'."
- Chambers and Partners, 2019 


Highlights


Advising on the rebranding and updating of a school's governance documents and constitution. 


Advising an established charity on setting up a multi-academy trust company in order to sponsor schools converting to academies.


Successfully defending First Tier Tribunal proceedings where allegations of disability discrimination were made arising from the permanent exclusion of a pupil. All claims against the school were dismissed. 


Our Experts


Matthew
Smith
Partner

Cardiff

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Alison
Patten-Hall
Partner

Reading

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Ben
Brice
Legal Director

Reading

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Penny
Rinta-Suksi
Partner

Oxford

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Tim
Forer
Barrister

Southampton

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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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BM Insights


Events

We would like to invite you to our next Public Sector Network seminar on Wednesday 8 December 2021, specifically for those in the public and third sector.

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Articles

The Welsh Government has announced its proposal radically to reform tertiary education in Wales, including the regulation of universities and colleges in Wales. Some elements of the organisation of tertiary...

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Articles

What are the changes to procurement law? Our experts take a look at the 'Transforming Public Procurement' Green Paper, challenges to public procurement, the Procurement Bill and the Welsh Government's...

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Events

Our Public Sector Network event on Wednesday 13 October 2021 looked at the current challenges facing employers.

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Articles

A quick guide on the changes coming into force on 1 September 2021, by the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018. Commencement Orders From 1 September 2021,...

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Articles

Earlier this summer the Department for Education (DfE) published the new Academy Trust Handbook which takes effect from 1 September 2021 and we summarise the key changes here. It is...

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