Education

“Expert human resources advisers -superb. Strong in the independent sector too.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2016
Our Education team is one of the most experienced of its kind, and provides expert commercial, regulatory and compliance advice to over 100 independent and maintained schools, academies, further education colleges, Oxford colleges, universities and education charities. 

Main areas of practice

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

  • Governance, administration, education law and charity regulation
  • Banking finance and funding for development
  • Property and estate management
  • Commercial contracts, procurement and outsourcing
  • Corporate, IP commercialisation and spin-outs
  • Data protection and information governance
  • Employment, pensions and immigration
  • Dispute management
  • Equality, discrimination and freedom of information
  • Student/pupil discipline and child protection issues
  • Fast track debt collection and consumer credit
  • Income generation, fundraising and legacies
  • SEN appeals to the First Tier Tribunal (SENDIST) on behalf of parents and local authorities

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

Clients

Our clients include:

Universities Free schools
Oxford Colleges Maintained schools
Further education colleges Academies and multi-academy trusts
Independent schools Student unions
Educational charities Educational businesses
Individuals  Local authorities
Parents  

Significant experience

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

  • Acting for Edward VI College in an important Employment strike-pay dispute Hartley & Others v King Edward VI College [2015] EWCA Civ 455. 
  • Acting for Peter Symonds College in its successful defence of a High Court claim, sponsored by the NUT, concerning the correct deduction from pay for strike action [2013 EWHC 2788 Amey V Peter Symonds College].
  • Advising an established charity on setting up a multi-academy trust company in order to sponsor schools converting to academies.
  • Acting for an Oxford College on a project to modernise and streamline their Statutes and Bye-laws, established by Royal Charter.
  • Advising a Higher Education Institution regarding a student who had appealed against an expulsion for poor academic work on discrimination grounds and alleged racist behaviour.
  • Acting for a university on a number of IP/IT matters including the trade mark protection of commercial IP and a joint software development project for an enhanced student information system.
  • Obtaining a Royal Charter for an existing educational institution.
  • Advice on State Aid implications of various projects and activities, in particular the treatment of IP in collaborative research projects and spin-outs.
  • Advising a funding council on its statutory powers and other constitutional and European law matters relating to University funding.
  • Advising a school on its parent contract and debt collection process.
  • Negotiating with a local authority on behalf of the parents of a 10 year old girl in receipt of an EHC Plan who were adamant that only a specialist school would be able to meet their daughter's educational needs and persuading the local authority to name the parents' preferred school in the Final EHC Plan;
  • Advising parents in connection with School Placement Panel decisions where SEN issues need to be considered;
  • Responding on behalf of a local authority to an application for costs in SENDIST proceedings by parents in a case in which different solicitors had been originally instructed for the local authority.
  • Our Senior Associate Tim Williamson is on the Committee of Education Law Association.

Pro-bono work

  • University of Hertfordshire (UHInvest programme 2013/2014: entrepreneurial services to students and staff).
  • City University (participating in programmes, lectures and entrepreneurship clinics for staff, student and local tech city business).
  • Southampton Solent University (providing an external expert the University's IP Advisory Panel).
  • 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.

“They are very professional and extremely thorough. They are fantastically diligent in understanding the client needs, making sure they understand the brief so they can act accordingly. They are also very conscious of costs.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2015

“Advised a range of Oxford University colleges and the University of Reading, and also acts for schools on land acquisitions and disposals.”

The Legal 500 UK 2014

“Always responsive and supportive. They find solutions in partnership with the school.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, 2014

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

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