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Back to school – preparing for a potential phased reopening of schools - 18 May 2020

19 May 2020

This webinar took place on 18 May and is now available on-demand.

Schools in England have been closed other than to the children of key workers and children who are classified as vulnerable since 20th March as part of the management of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the government announced that primary schools in England may be able to begin a phased reopening for pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 1st June at the earliest. Furthermore, the government’s stated ambition was for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible.

In this webinar Browne Jacobson’s Head of Education, Mark Blois discussed the implications of this development and explore some of the immediate issues’ schools were likely to experience with colleagues Stephanie McGarry, Julia Green, Ian Deakin and Emma Hughes. In particular, this webinar focused on the most important considerations around:

  • health and safety in school
  • staff resourcing and employer obligations
  • parental expectations and concerns

The webinar saw the launch of Browne Jacobson’s ‘Back to School’ resource pack.

on demand education webinar

Our speakers

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

Mark Blois specialises in advice to schools, colleges, and local authorities on the full range of legal issues, both contentious and non-contentious including changes of category, re-organisations, governance, commercial arrangements, special educational needs, disability discrimination, admissions, exclusions and safeguarding.

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Julia Green

Julia Green

Partner

Julia specialises in education law advice to schools, academies and colleges including statutory conversions of all types and property issues ranging from easements to development agreements.

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Stephanie Coates

Stephanie McGarry

Partner

Stephanie specialises in regulatory law with a particular focus on the issues affecting the education sector. Stephanie advises on policy drafting ranging from consumer protection to mental health and wellbeing.

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Ian Deakin

Ian Deakin

Partner

Ian acts across the full spectrum of employment law issues, including day to day advice and employment tribunal litigation. Ian has a particular interest in TUPE transfers and Service Provision Changes, including insourcing and outsourcing. Ian has worked on a number of cases for our education clients including recently successfully defending a claim against a MAT for race discrimination and unfair dismissal, and another against a school for age discrimination.
Ian has also assisted a government department in managing an employment tribunal claim that led to the exit of a difficult employee. In 2016/17 Ian was a Non-Executive Director at the White Rose Academy Trust and regularly presents webinars and seminars on employment related matters.

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Emma Hughes

Emma Hughes

Head of HR Services

Emma is the Head of HR Services and manages the team responsible for providing HR consultancy services to a range of clients across multiple sectors.

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Focus on...

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Key steps to avoid falling foul of disability discrimination laws

The law around disability discrimination against pupils is not straightforward – but the reputational risk, let alone costs, of falling foul of the law are huge, so it’s worth upskilling staff whenever possible, as these two lawyers outline.

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Employment Law – Harpur Trust v Brazel – Implications for schools webinar

On 20 July 2022, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited judgment in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel, upholding the decision of the Court of Appeal. For those of you familiar with this case, you will know that it concerns the statutory leave requirements for part-time and part-year workers. For schools and academies whose workforce consists of a variety of types of part-time and part-year workers, this case is one that must be understood before any changes are applied. Come and join Emma Hughes, Head of HR Services as she puts questions to Ian Deakin, Employment Partner, and Sarah Linden, Senior Associate.

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Press releases

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

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.

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Guides

How to carry out the KCSiE online checks FAQs

There is (understandably) some confusion about the steps schools and trusts need to take to discharge the new online check duty set out in paragraph 220 of KCSIE. I can’t completely clarify all of it for you, but I can help you find a sensible route through. These FAQs are a good place to start.

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The opinions expressed on this video are provided for the purposes of general interest and information and should not be relied upon. They contain only summaries of aspects of the subject matter at the time of publishing and do not provide comprehensive statements of the law. They do not constitute legal advice and do not provide a substitute for it. So why not talk to us and seek advice that's tailored to you? You can look up one of our experts on this website or call on 0370 270 6000.

Mark Blois

Mark Blois

Partner and Head of Education

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