Education

Wolferstans’ team of education solicitors and support specialists are here to provide efficient legal assistance for your educational establishment.

Whether you run a Trust, School, College or University, the legal implications are varied and many, ranging from employment law and human resources to issues with students and parents, including complaints and requests for information. We are the region’s local education experts boasting a client base of over 100 Schools throughout Devon and Cornwall. Our clients range from some of the largest MATs to individual primary Schools all of whom have chosen Wolferstans to provide their ongoing HR and/or legal support because of our pragmatic solutions based approach which is delivered at an affordable and cost effective price.

Our team includes education specialists dedicated to providing on-going support to Schools meaning they understand the unique quirks of the education sector. Providing daily support of this nature means our specialists are familiar with the STPCD, Burgundy Book, PCC, CCC and DCC existing template policies and the freedoms which are available to academies.

We offer platinum packages which not only provide the peace of mind required for the day to day running of your Trust or School, but also includes strategic support for bigger projects and all at a competitive price, with unlimited usage (save for the exclusions) and access outside of normal business hours. However, we appreciate that not all Trusts or Schools are alike, and we recognise that this high level of support may be inconsistent with either your budgetary constraints or you may have in-house expertise meaning that you do not require this level of investment in legal help and you might prefer to opt for a package with capped usage such as HR and/or Legal Plus.

Alternatively, we have created bespoke packages tailored to meet individual needs which include assistance and partnering on projects such as recruitment and wellbeing. We are here to provide the optimum solution for your organisation and will work alongside you to ensure you receive the best value available.

In addition to providing ongoing support, we have assisted Schools and Trusts with one-off projects such as a complicated restructure, the removal of senior individuals and/or Academy conversions and re-brokerages.

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 visit your School to discuss the process with you. We offer pre-conversion/project 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.

We are the preferred legal partner of both the Cornwall Association of Primary Heads (CAPH) and the South West Institute for Teaching (SWIFT) with James Twine and Victoria Sargeant both sitting on the Board for CAPH.

Wolferstans also work closely with Bishop Fleming, the UK’s number one accountant to the academy schools sector, who have provided insights and expertise in their Education Knowledge Hub, which you will find here.

More Education services:

Academy Conversion

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 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.

Independent Education Sector

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.

We are the preferred partner of the Cornwall Association of Primary Heads, with James and Victoria both being invited to be board members. They provide regular legal training for heads and business managers across Cornwall.

First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability)

We have an unblemished success rate in defending disability discrimination claims brought against schools by parents.

We can 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 liaise 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.

Book a consultation with our education solicitors in Plymouth

We are happy to have a conversation about how we can help. Call Wolferstans on 01752 648874 in Plymouth now for clear, effective guidance for your organisation.