An image of school students

Academy conversions

Academy conversions continue to occupy centre stage in education policy, whether it is a voluntary decision taken by the governing body of a school or follows intervention by the local authority or the DfE. On publication of the Opportunity for All white paper in March 2022, the government has set out its plan for achieving its vision to see all children “benefit from being taught in a family of schools, with their school in a strong multi academy trust or with plans to join or form one” by 2030.

The decision to convert and either establish or join a multi academy trust will be one of the biggest decisions a governing body can make, and it is crucial to secure clear legal advice from a recognised law firm with expert sector knowledge who can work in partnership with you throughout the process. Our dedicated team of education lawyers have significant experience within the sector supporting schools on their conversion to academy status.

Our experience comes from our long-established position within the education sector, our down-to-earth and pragmatic approach, transparent pricing and cutting-edge knowledge of the issues and challenges facing schools converting to academy status. We’re independently recognised as market leaders in this field having supported one of every five schools that have converted to academy status since introduction of the Academies Act 2010. Our academy conversion service is built on our many years representing schools in all aspects of their needs.

Thanks to our significant experience, we’ve been able to put together a fixed fee package that will deliver your conversion whilst also offering a comprehensive and high-quality service delivered by our expert team.

What we do...

  • Strategic support and project planning – we create a tailored plan for your project, highlighting key dates, actions, FAQs and deadlines for every stage of the conversion process, in addition to project management for the legal tasks.
  • Governance and commercial support – includes and governance support if needed to establish an academy trust, negotiating and agreeing the funding agreement with the DfE and negotiating and agreeing the commercial transfer agreement with the local authority.
  • School land, estate and buildings – we provide a detailed ‘report on title’ relating to your school estate, agreeing the land transfer or negotiating and agreeing the lease as well as dealing with registration matters at the Land Registry.
  • TUPE/employee transfer support and practical guidance on TUPE and providing template letters in addition to advice on any ‘measures’.

Featured experience

Lighthouse Schools Partnership

Supporting the growth of a large and expanding mixed-community/faith MAT in the South West, including a number of academy conversion and transfer instructions.

Future Generation Trust

Instructed by a Multi Academy Trust on the conversion of a Community School to academy status. This involved negotiation of various documents as part of the conversion process well as putting in place appropriate agreements. The conversion was complicated by restructuring arrangements and therefore additional employment support was required.


You may be interested in...