“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)


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

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

Sweet measures from Chancellor in the Sugar Tax Budget


The Chancellor of the Exchequer may have grabbed headlines by declaring war on sugar in his Spring Budget – but there were also several sweeteners for businesses and individuals alike.

Budget 2016: Academy conversion for schools in England


Measures announced today by the chancellor in this year's budget include the plan for all maintained schools in England to convert to academy status by 2020 or be committed to converting by 2022.

Non Profit Distributing Model


The widespread adoption of a new funding model for major infrastructure projects across the UK may have moved a step closer thanks to a key decision that has come to light.

Dealing with de-brief requests from unsuccessful bidders

Minimise the risk for challenge by following the below tips as far as possible.

Good governance of universities

A new voluntary governance code for UK universities has been published by The Committee of University Chairs (CUC).

Multi academy trusts: managing a group of academies

With more and more maintained schools converting to academy status, we have seen an increase in different forms of collaborative working, in particular groups of academies being run and/or sponsored by the same multi-academy trust company.

Court of Appeal gives guidance on long-term sickness absence dismissals

The Court of Appeal has decided whether it is fair to dismiss an employee who is on long term sick leave and how long they should be expected to wait for the employee to return.

The insolvency regime for the further education and sixth-form sector

On 6 July 2016, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills ("BIS") published consultation paper BIS/16/320 Developing an insolvency regime for the further education and sixth-from sector – consultation document ("BIS/16/320")

The Diamond Review: what does it mean for Higher Education institutions in Wales?

Welsh universities can commence longer term financial planning with some confidence, following the announcement that recommendations set out in the Diamond Review could come into effect as early as 2018/19.

Failing school revived

Members of our Restructuring and Insolvency, Charities and Education, Built Environment and Property Litigation recently acted on a sale to rescue a well-established independent school from the brink of closure.

Dispute Management in Education

Examples of dispute management advice for educational establishments

Swansea University

Find out how we have advised Swansea University.