Wolferstans’ team of education solicitors and support specialists are here to provide efficient legal assistance for your educational establishment.
Whether you run a school, college or university, the legal implications are varied and numerous. There are employment and human resources issues to consider. Plus, you may face issues relating to students and parents, including complaints and access rights to educational records. There are also legal matters relating to the property belonging to your school or higher education setting.
Our education team take a multi-disciplinary approach. We are on hand to advise on all elements of running your educational institution. This has enabled Wolferstans to build strong links with a diverse range of learning establishments. We have become the trusted provider of legal services to a number of local primary schools, secondary schools and universities. Many schools have chosen to rely on support from Wolferstans to represent their legal interests in preference to their Local Education Authority (LEA).
We offer two fixed fee packages for Human Resources (HR) and Legal Services. We have designed these to provide your school with all of the services traditionally delivered through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) from your LEA. Please see our section below on HR and Legal Services for Schools for further details.
In addition to providing ongoing legal support, Wolferstans are specialists in Academy school conversions and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs). We have successfully converted numerous single Academies. Furthermore, we are the preferred solicitors for some of Devon and Cornwall’s largest MATs which are seeking to expand.
If your school is considering converting to an Academy, joining a MAT or pushing for a MAT expansion, please contact one of our team of education solicitors. We will then arrange to visit your school to discuss the process with you and your governors. We offer pre-conversion strategic support for free. This typically includes face-to-face meetings and advising you on structure, process, costs and timescales. For further information, please see our Academy Conversion and MATs section below.
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Partner, Solicitor, Head of Business Services
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Wolferstans are conversion and MAT specialists having converted numerous single Academies and being the go to firm for MAT expansion among some of Devon and Cornwall’s largest MATs.
Academy conversion should be simple, and we are here to take away or overcome the legal hurdles that must be satisfied. Our experience in this sector has allowed us to develop personal relationships with the key local contacts at the DfE, PCC, CCC, DCC and EFA meaning your conversion will proceed as efficiently as is possible.
If your school is considering converting, joining a MAT, or MAT expansion please contact one of the team and we will arrange to visit your school for pre-conversion strategic support without charge. We will meet with your school’s representatives (usually Headteacher, governors and Business Manager) for free, typically this pre-conversion support will include face to face meetings and advice on structure, process, costs and timescales.
We are not in the business of reinventing the wheel – the standard documentation is there for a reason – it works for most schools. What we are here to do is to understand your values/vision and to ensure that the standard documents will work for your school. Often that means highlighting the issues early and focusing on resolving those to pave the way for a smooth transition to Academy status and/or a MAT.
Our packages for Human Resources and/or Legal Services offer schools a fresh alternative to services offered by the Local Authority.
The advice we offer is pragmatic, we put ourselves in your shoes and offer advice that is the best for the school as a whole, not just to comply with legal obligations. Our packages are offered for a fixed annual fee and the usage is unlimited.
Our client base includes a mixture of secondary, primary, academy, maintained, trust and independent schools, so we are well versed in supporting schools and the unique quirks of the education sector. Providing support of this nature means our specialist team are familiar with the STPCD, Burgundy Book, PCC, CCC and DCC existing template policies and the freedoms which are now available to academies.
We have successfully supported our many school clients through what has been a period of change and have experience of union consultation whether it be via proposed redundancies, the introduction of new polies and/or academy conversions. We also have a formal collaborative working arrangement with Plymouth Learning Partnership (formerly known as PAPH) under which we share knowledge, discuss the latest developments in the world of education and put on joint events/seminars – this works well for the benefit of our respective clients.
Each of our schools is allocated a key contact who will form close links with the Business Manager, Headteacher and to some extent the Governing Body. Signing up to our packages means your school will have unlimited access to the team by telephone, email and for face to face meetings. Other benefits include access to our online education policy portal, subscription to our regular newsletters, invitations to seminars and access to a staff discount scheme.
The team are experienced at dealing with the challenges schools are likely to face such as handling long term absence and progression to capability, advising on exclusions, complaints and parents rights to educational records, health and safety matters and day to day property enquiries.
For further information on our Packages please click here.
“The quality of the support and guidance provided has been exceptional. It is extremely reassuring to be able to draw on the high quality knowledge and skills when dealing with challenging HR situations, I would recommend this service without hesitation.”
Aaron Meredith Executive Headteacher of Ernesettle Community School and Marine Academy Primary
Acting for Plymouth College and Kelly College means we are experienced in advising the independent education sector in relation to recovery of school/nursery fees and debts - we are well placed to deal with the unique challenges presented in pursuing these types of debt.
Our online debt collection system means that you can provide instructions to us online, and then monitor the progress of your case when it is convenient for you.
Dealing with the education sector on a daily basis means the team are accustomed to the full range of issues that concern our clients including handling long-term absence and performance management in addition to property and governance matters.
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We have an unblemished success rate in defending disability discrimination claims brought against schools by parents.
We are able to review all of your records and documents, advise on the prospects of defending the claim and represent you going forward. We offer pragmatic and realistic advice, can come into your school to talk with all involved members of staff and liase with the applicants or their legal representatives. We have worked closely with Counsel for more complex claims and can draft the tribunal documentation on your behalf.