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Leading education lawyers play major role as DfE announces 10,000th academy conversion

6 September 2022

The Department for Education (DfE) have announced that the conversion of Donisthorpe Primary School in Leicestershire on 1st September marked the 10,000th academy conversion.

The academies programme has been successive governments’ flagship education policy with the Academies Act 2010, in particular, providing the framework for thousands of schools to adopt academy status.

Browne Jacobson’s education team has now been instructed on one in five (over 2,000) of these conversions reflecting the team’s expertise, straightforward approach and commitment to and understanding of the schools and academies sector.

Commenting on the DfE’s announcement, Mark Blois, Browne Jacobson’s National Head of Education, said:

“This is a significant milestone for the roll out of the DfE’s academies programme and we are proud of the scale of the contribution that Browne Jacobson has made nationally in supporting and advising on such a large proportion of the over 10,000 academy conversions that have taken place to date.

“However, the mission of the team has always been, and will remain, to serve our education clients by supporting them to take the approaches that they themselves determine to be right for their children, staff and communities, whether that be to embrace or resist academisation. As such we are just as proud of the important role that the team has played as the academies programme has progressed in advising and supporting schools on challenging forced academisation decisions, such as Yew Tree Primary School in its high profile and successful litigation against the Secretary of State last year.

“Equally we pride ourselves on the successful implementation of the vision that we developed following the enactment of the Academies Act 2010 to build an effective legal and HR support network for academies and schools, catering for their short and long term needs. We have progressively developed the education team’s capability and capacity to ensure that we have continued to be in a position to serve our school and academy clients and to meet all of their day to day operational and strategic legal and HR needs.

“Following the DfE’s announcement of this milestone in the development of the schools system, we look forward to continuing to serve and support all of our education clients as the DfE implements the policy vision set out in its recent White Paper.”

Browne Jacobson’s education team is made up of legal and HR specialists that support over 1300 schools and academies each year. A hallmark of the team’s approach is to combine their legal expertise and deep education sector understanding to provide advice that enables their clients to navigate the evolving education landscape. Clients choose Browne Jacobson because of its quality of service and its ability to provide practical guidance and advice to support them through complex legal & HR scenarios and processes arising in the education sector. The team has a market-leading reputation, with the Education team in all five of the firm’s offices in England holding Tier 1 rankings in Legal 500 2022 and the national Education team being ranked in Band 1 in the UK-wide rankings for Education (Institutions – Schools) in Chambers & Partners 2022.

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