At Browne Jacobson, we have been supporting further education (FE) institutions of all types for many years. Through our years of experience in FE and the wider education sector, and our recognition as thought leaders in education, we help FE institutions respond to the challenges of funding decline and the opportunities to do things differently. This, and our ability to develop strong relationships with a wide range of stakeholders, puts us at the centre of FE modernisation.
Our market leading work in reorganisations, mergers and academy sponsorships puts us at the forefront of the learning and skills agenda and some of society’s biggest issues. Our specialisms include advising on commercial contracts, information sharing and data protection, health and safety, HR and employment law issues, governance, safeguarding and learner conduct and welfare.
Our advice has included supporting an FE college in a collaboration with a multi-academy trust to enhance the provision of education and opportunity in a socially deprived area, advising on safeguarding issues to ensure legal compliance and protection of learners and advising on college mergers including on the impact on local communities.
Advising an FE college on a cross-college restructure involving collective consultation with the recognised trade unions.
Supporting in a collaboration with a multi-academy trust to enhance the provision of education and opportunity in a socially deprived area.
Guiding this college through the due diligence process ahead of merger with another college.
Working with this college on safeguarding and data protection issues to ensure legal compliance and the protection of learners.
"Sector specific knowledge, wide range of specialists coupled with local client relationship manager."
"Excellent support from Browne Jacobson. Their extensive knowledge of the education sector gives our organisation peace of mind regarding all legal aspects. Whenever I have contracted the firm I always receive a timely response and partners and associates are always available to talk through any queries and concerns."
"Responsive and high level of understanding of education sector."
"Browne Jacobson has great strength in the secondary education sector. The team’s enthusiasm for our sector is infectious and we really enjoy working with them."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Academy trusts no longer need to seek consent for contractual indemnities within the ‘normal course of business’. What do trusts need to consider?
In this article we set out the most common issues we encounter, along with guidance on assessing and mitigating the risk from assaults.
In July, the long-awaited statutory guidance on the Subsidy Control Act 2022 (Act) was published in draft form (Draft Guidance). A consultation on the draft guidance has recently ended and the results have not yet been published – it may therefore change before the final version is published.
In July 2022, the Supreme Court handed down its long-awaited Judgement in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel relating to the correct calculation of statutory holiday pay for part year workers. This decision has implications for all part year workers on contracts which subsist all year round, whether their hours are normal or irregular.
Universities and colleges are not immune from deception by unscrupulous bad actors. The extent to which educational institutions can manage and control risk not only depends on financial management and internal controls, but also the robustness of security and processes which can be exploited from outside the organisation.
The new set of Legal 500 directory rankings have been published and we are proud to once again be recognised as one of the country’s leading firms advising the Education sector.
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.
Whilst it may be late compared to previous years, the Educations and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has now published their latest edition of the Academy Trust Handbook (the Handbook), ready for implementation in less than a week, on 1 September 2022. The ESFA in their update to the academies sector, did apologise for the delay on issuing the Handbook.
This month the Department for Education (“DfE”) released new guidance on behaviour in schools which has substantial changes from the previous guidance from 2016.
New statutory guidance on school exclusions has now been published, along with new Behaviour in Schools Guidance. The new guidance incorporates changes recommended in Edward Timpson’s May 2019 report on school exclusions. The new guidance will apply to any exclusion or suspension decisions taken from 1 September 2022.
We provide an update on the Schools Bill proposed legislation & it's impact on academy trusts.
If NHS staff can request a flexible approach to working patterns then the sector needs to get serious about what it can offer staff, too, if it is to avoid further strain on recruitment and retention.
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.
The recent case of R (on the application of A Parent) v Governing Body of XYZ School  EWHC 1146 (Admin) provides some welcome and reassuring guidance to governing boards on the exclusion reconsideration process.
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”.
Part 1 of the Schools Bill introduces statutory rights designed to ensure that the Secretary of State has efficient oversight and is equipped to address “instances of failure” in academy trusts.
In this edition we provide you with the latest in legal updates, news and insight from the higher education sector.
Cases involving the handling allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct by Universities continues to hit the news. They are clearly difficult issues for Universities given the competing duties owed to both the reporting individual and the alleged perpetrator and the inevitable sensitivities around the nature of these matters.
Browne Jacobson has extensive experience in advising across all aspect of a HEI’s commercialisation strategy. If you would like to find out more, particularly in relation to spin-ins, please get in touch.
The data protection legislation (namely, the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018) contain various provisions that deal with the processing of personal data for research purposes.
National law firm Browne Jacobson has grown its team behind its dedicated Space + Time executive coaching programme with the addition of two more qualified coaches who will work with clients in the education sector.