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Higher education sponsorship of academies

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The number of academy schools in the UK has expanded rapidly over the last ten years at both the primary and secondary level. Currently over one-third of all state-maintained schools are academies. The Government is keen for higher education institutions (HEIs) to take an active role in supporting secondary education as part of its broader strategy of ‘levelling up’.

More broadly, with the development of the role of the civic university, you may want to explore the way you work with, and support, schools in your local area and community by looking into higher education sponsorship. Whether you already offer existing HEI sponsorship, are considering offering university sponsorship or would like a broader understanding of the academy/school sector and the role of higher education trusts within it, our expert team can support you.

As one of the leading law firms advising schools, academy trusts and academy sponsors, we have extensive experience on collaborative partnerships and HEI sponsorship arrangements with both standalone institutions and those part of a multi-academy trust.

What we do

  • Support the development of your HEI sponsorship strategy and help you scan the horizon for the key issues that will impact your approach
  • Put in place robust governance structures
  • Advise on risk management and exit strategies
  • Establish higher education trusts for academies and put in place funding agreements with the Department for Education
  • Put in place suitable contractual arrangements for the provision of any support services to the academy trust
  • Support the implementation of collaborative arrangements between education providers
  • Carry out the legal work required in the establishment of free schools and/or the conversion of schools and/or the transfer of existing academies.

Why choose Browne Jacobson higher education lawyers?

We are one of the leading law firms advising schools, academy trusts and academy sponsors of the best course of action for university sponsorship. For more information about how we can help, please contact Nick MacKenzie.

What the directories say...



At Browne Jacobson LLP, the team’s specialist knowledge of academy conversions, multi-academy trusts and PFI schools is 'invaluable and unique’.

Legal 500 2020


exceptional strength in depth and broad legal expertise

Legal 500 2020

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