We assist in the conversion of single schools into stand-alone Academy Trusts, and combining two or more schools into a Multi-Academy Trusts. This includes schools which are subject to Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangements, schools which have religious affiliations and sponsorship, and schools which require Trust sponsorship due to special measures.
If you are unfamiliar with Academy conversions, we can hand-hold you throughout the entire process and explain the structure, timescales and the associated risks in clear and concise terms. We aim to take a pragmatic and pro-active role so that you can focus on your day-to-day work.
Our experienced corporate and commercial team are able to advise you on a wide range of legal issues which may arise during the conversion process, including a review of existing contracts and liabilities within the school; liaising with the Department for Education in the preparation and negotiation of the Trust’s funding agreements and constitutional documents; liaising with the existing owner (usually the local council) in the preparation and negotiation of the commercial transfer agreement, which ensures all school assets are transferred to the new Trust and any liabilities are apportioned fairly; liaising with the council and PFI contractors regarding any existing PFI arrangements.
Our Employment law team can advise you on all areas of employment law, including any issues arising from the conversion pursuant to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE). We can advise on and attend consultations with affected school’s employees.
Commercial Property Law
Our Commercial Property team can efficiently undertake investigation and transfer of the school’s premises into the academy trust, commonly under a 125 year peppercorn lease. The team can also review and advise on any sub-leases that may be existing on the school grounds, e.g. pre-school leases, caretaker houses, and what implications this has for the Trust.
Talk to Tollers
If you would like to speak our specialist education law solicitors about Academy conversions you can visit our contact page and make an enquiry or please contact us on 01908 306948 or complete the form below.