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Be connected newsletter for education - June 2020

19 June 2020

In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the sector.

be connected is your space – it is important that the mix of content offers you real value and relevant, useful information. Please help us to help you by providing feedback and comments. What would you like to see featured in the newsletter – and would you like to be part of a future edition – click here to let us know!

Legal updates

Back to School toolkit

As you begin to reopen your doors to an increased numbers of pupils and staff there is a lot to consider. Designed by our team of education legal and HR experts our Back to School toolkit contains useful tips, resources and FAQs to help you keep on track and manage your key obligations.

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Moving forward: academy conversions and transfer projects

In this article, our leading academisation expert Adrian Shardlow looks at whether, from a financial and commercial point of view, any pending conversions and academy transfers should go ahead whilst the short, medium and long term implications of coronavirus are not yet known?

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2020 Exam Appeals

This year’s approach to the awarding of grades puts us all in unchartered territory in terms of the process and potential appeals. In this article Julia Green reviews the latest Ofqual guidance and highlights the three areas where an appeal could be made.

We also look at Freedom of Information and Subject Access Requests and reminds you of your statutory obligations.

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Supporting those with mental health conditions

It is widely known that mental health disorders increase where families are struggling. This will be particularly applicable at the moment, where individuals struggle to cope with the direct effects of the virus, and in the aftermath when unemployment, job and income uncertainty is set to increase.

Being mindful of this in respect to changes in pupil behaviour and parental complaints is essential when supporting those who have been affected. Our latest guidance and related FAQs sets out how you can help manage mental health conditions within your institution.

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The introduction of Relationships and Sex Education in Schools

With the compulsory introduction of the new Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education curriculum fast approaching, associate Laura Murphy outlines the steps you need to undertake before teaching commences in September.

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Keeping Children Safe 2020

The new government guidance on Keeping Children Safe in Education, which is in force from 1 September 2020, has just been published.

Dai Durbridge has reviewed all the changes for you, and has summarised your next steps to effectively implement the changes in your school or Trust.

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Are your policies up to date?

Now more than ever it’s important that your HR and school policies are all encompassing and remain up to date. Should you require any assistance, our team of experts are on hand to help you draft your own documents or undertake an independent review. To save you time, we also have a comprehensive pack of policies already available that you can implement immediately.

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In the latest two episodes of our podcast series #EdInfluence Nick MacKenzie speaks to five leading voices to review how the schools and academies have risen to recent challenges and are now beginning to look forward with optimism.

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On-demand training and legal updates

In times of crisis it’s easy for your own development to be put aside. With our back catalogue of CPD sessions for line managers and recent legal updates you can take control of your own learning at a time that suits you.

Catch-up on demand >

Back to School – September planning webinar

Schools in England were closed other than to the children of key workers and children who are classified as vulnerable from 20th March as part of the management of the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the relaxation of lockdown measures many primary schools in England began a phased reopening for pupils from 15th June.

Join us where members of the Education team will be discussing the key legal and HR issues facing schools planning for reopening in September.

Find out more >

Meet our team

Dai Durbridge

Manchester-based Partner Dai is used to travelling the length and breadth of the country, but for him lockdown has been anything but a quiet experience. In this edition of 60 seconds with… Dai opens the doors to his village home on the edge of the peaks and tells us how he’s been keeping busy over the last few weeks.

Our Education team have been busy advising schools on various issues around the pandemic and so we have had plenty to do keeping our clients informed and up to date. One thing I have missed is my colleagues. Zoom calls are great and I will be making more of platforms such as these from now on, but nothing truly replaces face to face contact and working in an office environment with your colleagues. Making a brew round for one is not quite the same as making it for six and then being told your tea making skills are rubbish. Though it has been nice to not wear a suit every day with a t-shirt and joggers becoming my workwear of choice, anything goes in lockdown.

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Legal and HR services for education LinkedIn page

Stay up to date with news and insights from our specialist lawyers and HR consultants.

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Training and events


Optimus Education: Operating an Efficient Trust - Manchester The Lowry, Manchester

This free event will allow you to build your network, ask questions of our expert speakers, and improve your trust processes. With a choice of nine workshops, you can create a bespoke experience to suit the needs of your academy. Bring multiple team members to ensure you get the most out of the day.

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Focus on...

Legal updates

Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022: Online searches for shortlisted candidates

The two biggest changes in the new safeguarding guidance revolve around sourcing high quality governor and trustee training and the new requirement to carry out online searches for shortlisted candidates. This article focuses on how and when to carry out online searches. In the coming week we will follow up with everything you need to consider when sourcing high quality governor or trustee training.



Taking the next step – forming or joining a multi academy trust

Browne Jacobson has been delighted to again work in partnership with our colleagues and friends at the National Governance Association (NGA) and the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL).



Judicial Review of school exclusion reconsideration dismissed on all grounds

The recent case of R (on the application of A Parent) v Governing Body of XYZ School [2022] EWHC 1146 (Admin) provides some welcome and reassuring guidance to governing boards on the exclusion reconsideration process.


Legal updates

Implementing school system reform – next steps

Following its publication of the White Paper at the end of March, the Department for Education (DfE) has shared an implementation framework focusing on its plans for “a stronger and fairer school system”.


The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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