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Forced academisation and school interventions

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We know that many schools and trusts feel vulnerable in the current climate of forced academisation and school interventions, and often receive mixed messages regarding their legal position. Our lawyers make the complex simple, offering clear and strategic advice which enables governors to secure the right path to improvement for their school.

Current education policy carries an expectation that formal intervention powers are used to tackle ‘schools causing concern’.

For maintained schools, there are well-established intervention measures available to local authorities, such as issuing a warning notice or imposing an interim executive board (IEB). In addition, the Secretary of State has a range of intervention powers and, in certain circumstances, can make an academy order without a governing body’s consent. This includes where a school is graded inadequate by Ofsted or is designated as a ‘school not making necessary improvements’ under the Coasting School regulations.

For academies, both legislation and the terms of the funding agreement grant powers exercisable by the Regional Directors to take intervention steps where academies are causing concern. This includes the discretionary power to intervene in academies not making necessary improvements. The ESFA also has rights to intervene in cases of financial mismanagement or weaknesses in governance.

Our expert education lawyers have an established track record of supporting governing bodies and trust boards with responding to the full range of intervention measures.

What we do...

  • Understanding when you are ‘eligible for intervention’.
  • Understanding your legal position if you are receiving external pressure to become an academy.
  • Advising on responding to a threat of re-brokerage of your academy.
  • Responding to Notices to Improve from the ESFA.
  • Responding to Termination Warning Notices from the Regional Director. 
  • Challenging Ofsted reports.
  • Responding to a proposal to put in place an IEB.
  • Judicial review of school intervention decisions.
  • Advising on and challenging warning notices issued by the local authority or Regional Director.

Recent experience

What the directories say...

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