Laura is an associate in the education team and has over nine years’ experience advising a wide range of education institutions including schools, colleges, academies and independent schools on a broad range of education and commercial matters. Laura regularly advises establishments on admissions, exclusions/student disciplinary matters, governance, safeguarding, complex parental complaints, social media concerns and commercial matters. Laura also acts in the academy sector for Trusts who are dealing with significant changes, EFSA applications, governance reviews and other regulatory or compliance aspects.
Having previously been a director on expanding MAT Boards, Laura has an interest in governance and regularly advises Trusts on related issues such as articles of association, schemes of delegation and funding agreements.
Laura also heads up the education team's company secretarial service and advises on commercial governance and compliance – including winding up of redundant trusts, governance compliance and Companies House matters. Laura’s interest in commercial matters also means she is involved with putting in place commercial agreements for Trusts and schools looking at commercialising activities and expanding their provision of services. This includes teaching schools, SCITT, SLAs and collaboration.
Laura speaks at seminars and conferences and delivers bespoke training to senior leaders and governing boards on a variety of pastoral matters including exclusions, exams, data protection and mental health and wellbeing in schools. Laura's articles on a range of pastoral and commercial matters have been published in a number of sector publications (ASCL's Leader magazine, Schools Week). Laura has also drafted briefing notes and FAQs for education sector partners as well as providing articles as part of the Browne Jacobson newsletters and website content.
Laura also leads our innovative pro-bono scheme for young people in the East Midlands, mentoring young people who are looking at a future career in law. She has also worked on projects with Big Voice London and its Law Commission projects.
Laura is involved with Young Enterprise and regularly judges on the East Midlands rounds of the Company of the Year finals.
Laura is an active member of the firm’s diversity and inclusion committee and has a special interest in adaptations in the workplace for those with long-term health conditions.
Complex client governance review to confirm compliance ready for changes to governance structure. Dealing with historic issues and ensuring that the governance structure is fit for purpose.
Assisting client with claims of data breach and handling associated complex parental complaints.
Working with client to put in place new commercial agreements after de-designation of Teaching School Hubs. Understanding sector and ensuring client can continue to operate services.
Dealing with a complex retrospective application for significant change with the ESFA following an issue post running of a pilot scheme at a school. Included issues around consultation and local understanding.
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.
In the second of our three-part ‘Grades without Exams’ series, we explored the equality issues arising from the process for determining grades without exams in summer 2021.