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Education & academies

  • Education & Academies

    With our considerable expertise and detailed knowledge, Wilkin Chapman has been instrumental in the success of nearly 40 academy conversions and currently advises 6 Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), providing a complete range of legal services for pre and post conversion.

    With a number of legal experts acting as directors on the boards of local academies and as governors of schools, we understand the educational challenges you face.  Whether you are a school considering converting to an academy or looking to join a MAT, we can help to ensure you make the decision that is right for you.

    Academy conversions - the key points

    Our specialist academy conversion team can provide practical, commercially focused advice to deliver effective solutions. We will attend meetings of governors, staff and parents to ensure that all stakeholders are fully engaged in the conversion process and provide you with the full facts on the pros, cons, risks and benefits of whichever conversion avenue you embark upon.

    Why convert?

    Freedom from local authority control
    Without the constraints of being under local authority control, you have the freedom and autonomy to manage your budgets and target your resources more effectively to meet the needs of your school and your students.

    Freedom to manage and pay staff
    You can benefit from the freedom of being able to decide and set salaries for your staff. Performance is the most critical factor in any school and the ability to use reward, recognition and performance related factors in remuneration, is a real opportunity to raise the standards within your academy.

    Freedom to deliver a flexible curriculum
    You can have the freedom to establish targets for excellence. With the ability to adapt or even depart from the national curriculum, the scope of education you can provide to students is at your fingertips.

    Freedom to adapt terms and school times
    You may have found being under local authority control too restrictive, so your new found freedoms will allow you to explore and offer those extra-curricular activities and adapt term lengths and schools days, if appropriate to do so.

    Are you considering academy conversion?

    The following are just some of the legal aspects of the process that we can help with:

    • Consultation with staff, governors,parents and other key stakeholders
    • ‘Application to Convert’
    • Creation of company limited by guarantee
    • Drafting and negotiating funding agreements
    • Drafting and negotiating commercial transfer agreements
    • Drafting all necessary documentation relating to the transfer of lease(s)
    • Employment law, change management and TUPE
    • Closing financials

    Are you a single academy considering joining a MAT,
    or a MAT looking to bring in new schools?

    The following highlight some of the legal aspects of the process we can assist with:

    • Amendment to existing master funding agreement
    • Drafting supplement agreements
    • Drafting commercial transfer agreements
    • Employment law and TUPE
    • Drafting all necessary documentation relating to the transfer of lease(s)
    • Constitutional and governance issues
    • Drafting scheme of delegation

    What to expect after conversion

    Conversion is only just the start of this exciting journey for you and with the help and support of our conversion team, you can thrive, grow and out-perform in every given aspect possible.

    Changes and improvements do take time and carefully planning. However, we aim to build a lasting relationship with you to ensure you have the business focused support and legal advice to help you make the most of your independence.

What our customers say:

"We enjoy working with you as we appreciate the straight speaking, the fact that we receive a response so promptly, and that we don't have to pussyfoot in..."

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We enjoy working with you as we appreciate the straight speaking, the fact that we receive a response so promptly, and that we don't have to pussyfoot in relation to outcomes.

The relationship between us and you and your colleagues has been quite defining as it has enabled us to move in the direction we want to be heading. Long may it continue.

Wendy Hanslip, Grange Primary School

"Oliver delivered a comprehensive and easy to understand workshop on TUPE regulations for senior team members. He has a great deal of expertise and knowledge..."

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Oliver delivered a comprehensive and easy to understand workshop on TUPE regulations for senior team members. He has a great deal of expertise and knowledge in this complicated area and it was so useful to be able to work through examples and have everything clarified in a factual but well explained way.

Oliver has a great training manner and I would recommend him to anyone who needs to understand this particular area of the law.

Sarah Machin

"Every time we reach out to Katie Davies at Wilkin Chapman, she is always there for all of our outsourced HR needs. "

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Every time we reach out to Katie Davies at Wilkin Chapman, she is always there for all of our outsourced HR needs.

She always starts by meeting with us and asking us what we were looking for and has always taken the time to understand our processes and the ethos of our School.

Jayne Perry

"Collectively, as a company, I have been impressed by their desire to know what schools need in this seemingly constantly changing world of education."

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Collectively, as a company, I have been impressed by their desire to know what schools need in this seemingly constantly changing world of education.

Jayne Perry, New Waltham Academy