At the end of a year characterised by government turmoil, a cost-of-living crisis and policy U-turns, we’re facing further uncertainty as we enter 2023.
What’s clear, though, is the need for preparedness, resilience and an ongoing focus on achieving the best outcomes for children and young people. We’re committed to tackling these challenges with you, working together.
That’s why we’re constantly developing the support we offer to equip you to face current and emerging challenges, as efficiently, effectively and safely as you can.
Here's how we can help you be prepared for 2023:
Many schools are reporting a significant increase in the workload generated by the volume and complexity of complaints from parents.
We recognise the challenges this poses schools and trusts so we’re taking several steps to help reduce the impact this can have:
We’ll be sharing our report and recommendations from this roundtable event early in the new year.
Complaints management support pack
We’ll be providing a suite of best practice resources – including model letters, investigating templates, policy and procedure - with supporting guidance to help you handle each step of the complaints process effectively.
Make sure your complaint management process enables you to be thorough, consistent and professional… yet more efficient.
What are the implications for your school following the publication of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report? Find out how the report’s recommendations could impact schools and what steps you can take.
The latest DfE guidance on exclusions and suspensions changes the behaviour, suspension and exclusion framework; is your school or trust ready?
Available support includes:
The School Admissions Appeals Code 2022 is now in force and offers the option of virtual and physical hearings for appeals. Admission authorities are expected to adapt their operations accordingly.
We’re on hand to help prepare you for any appeals that come your way.
These services are available in-person or virtually, to fit your requirements.
Our expert data protection lawyers assist on the approaches you should be taking, advising on all areas of information law from the implications of data protection and GDPR to the Freedom of Information Act.
Available support includes:
Your people are your most valuable asset and we know you’ll want them to hit the ground running, come the start of term!
Our HR Services for schools and academies offer high-quality employment advice and with fixed-term, pay as you go or bespoke support as you need it, we have a solution to meet your needs.
Other support includes:
The academies programme has been successive governments’ flagship education policy and the DfE recently announced the 10,000th academy conversion.
We’ve helped handle one in five (over 2,000) of these conversions so we’re well placed to advise schools who are yet to embark on this journey. We’ve prepared guidance to support senior leaders, trustees and governors of maintained schools and single academy trusts as they consider the future of their school.
Available resources include:
Regardless of the outcome of ballots on industrial action, unless there is drastic change to funding for schools in relation to pay increases, it will be unusual to find any organisational budget that is not impacted by the current economic situation.
There’s been little evidence of interventions or financial management reviews this year and it appears the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has re-focussed on financial delivery. It’s also telling that there were no discernible changes to the reporting of financial irregularities in the Academies Trust Handbook 2022.
The Children’s Commissioner, Rachel De Souza, has recently published a report “Beyond the labels: a SEND system which works for every child, every time”, which she intends to sit alongside the DfE’s SEND Review (2019) and SEND Green Paper (2022) and which she hopes will put children’s voices at the heart of the government’s review of SEND system.
As well as providing day-to-day support to help you focus on managing your settings, we also provide training and professional development on a range of topics to keep you and your staff up-to-date.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHCR) recently issued new, non-statutory guidance regarding the wearing of natural or protective hairstyles, specifically in reference to their representation in uniform, behaviour or standalone appearance policies.
Emma Hughes, head of HR services at Browne Jacobson, explains how CST’s updated executive pay report and the linked benchmarking service from XpertHR can help trust boards make robust decisions on pay.
There’s greater opportunity than ever for parents, carers and guardians to voice any concerns they have relating to their child’s education and for their concerns to be heard and to be taken seriously. While most staff in schools and academies are conscious of their legal duties relating to complaints management, many are struggling to cope with such a significant increase in the volume of complaints they must manage.
This guidance has been prepared to support academy trusts (Trusts) who want to hold a fully virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) or a hybrid AGM, as we know that Trusts may want to be prepared for future disruption as well as having a general interest in holding more meetings virtually. The guidance also applies to other meetings of the Members (known as General Meetings).
We’re pleased to collaborate with Lloyds Bank, who recently asked us and audit and risk specialists Crowe UK to offer guidance that academy trusts would find helpful when considering setting up a trading subsidiary.
The DfE has published new guidance and opened the application process for window two of the Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) for 2022/2023, with a fund of £86m in trust capacity funding focused particularly on education investment areas.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was established in March 2015. We now have its report. As you would expect with such a broad scope, the report is long and makes a number of far-reaching recommendations. In this article, Dai Durbridge highlights seven of the 20 recommendations, sets out how they could impact on schools and suggests what steps to take now.
Browne Jacobson’s education team has been named as winner of the ‘Legal Advisors to Education Institutions’ category at the Education Investor Awards 2022 for a record sixth time.
Since the new Suspensions and Exclusions Statutory Guidance was published, we have received a lot of questions about the use of managed moves. For the first time, the Statutory Guidance does explain what a managed move is, but in relatively broad terms and does not cover the mechanics of how a managed move should operate.
Over 3000 young people from across the UK and Ireland took part in a virtual legal careers insight event, aimed at making the legal profession more diverse.
Holly Quirk, an associate barrister in Browne Jacobson’s Manchester office, was awarded the Legal Professional of the Year Award at this year’s Manchester Young Talent Awards.
The risk of assault against staff is, sadly, something that all schools need to consider carefully. Here one legal expert explains what they can do to protect staff and ensure they fulfil their duty of care.
An engineering company in Tyne and Wear was fined £20,000 after a worker fractured his pelvis and suffered internal injuries after falling through a petrol station forecourt canopy, whilst he was replacing the guttering.
Browne Jacobson’s education team has again been confirmed as a national powerhouse after securing five Tier 1 rankings relating to Education in the latest edition of Legal 500 and maintaining a Band 1 UK-wide ranking for Education in Chambers & Partners UK 2023.