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Trainee talk: education

21 March 2011

What does the team do?

We help schools with the full range of legal issues that they have. The number and scope of these issues has grown with the growing commercialisation of schools under the coalition government. We advise on pastoral issues, such as admissions, exclusions and appeals, special educational needs and disability, safeguarding, school policies and procedures and health and safety. We also advise on school reorganisation and restructuring such as converting to trust or foundation status, formalising groups, federation and collaboration structures and academy conversions. Schools also need advice on employment issues such as TUPE transfers, contracts, disciplinaries and grievances, and property issues.

We attend many national conferences, deliver training sessions throughout the year for schools and local authorities on a range of subjects, publish an array of articles for a number of education publications and hold seminars on the latest education policy and legislation.

What type of work does a trainee do?

You will get a wide variety of work so that by the end of the six months you will have gained a good understanding of the education system and the issues that educational providers need legal advice on. You will get to write articles, attend conferences, go to client meetings, research many different areas of law and draft documents and advices.

You will also take on some files for the General Teaching Council for England who are involved in the regulation of teachers. This will involve drafting witness statements and other documents.

What level of responsibility/hands on experience (i.e. manage your own files etc) does a trainee receive?

You will assist on larger pieces of work as well as get given ad hoc queries which you will be expected to research and advise on, under supervision. You may be given some smaller files to take charge over and will be expected to liaise with clients on a regular basis.

How much client contact does a trainee get?

Lots. You will constantly be meeting clients, calling and emailing them.

What has been the highlight for you in this seat?

Having articles published, speaking in an external presentation on the Education Bill and meeting new clients at conferences and in meetings. It has been great being part of a very passionate and friendly team.