Academies success for Ward Hadaway
FIVE new academies and a new Studio School have started life inYorkshire and Humberside this term with help from law firm Ward Hadaway.
The specialist education team at the UK Top 100 law firm provided legal advice on the setting up of four primary school academies in Barnsley – Dearne Highgate, Dearne Carrfield, Gooseacre and The Hill Primary – and Ryecroft Primary in Bradford, together with Hull Studio School as part of a busy schedule of work which saw the team advise on 13 academies, two free schools, a studio school and a trust school across the country.
Three of the new Barnsley academies are school converter academies with a multi academy trust operating in the North of England with the fourth - Gooseacre Primary - a sponsored academy with the same trust.
Ryecroft Primary Schoolis a school converter academy with an emerging multi academy trust whileHullStudioSchoolis sponsored by Hull College Group and is an example of a new type of school model for 14-19 year olds designed to equip young people with the skills, knowledge and experience they need to succeed in work.
Students will have access to Hull College Group's range of industry standard facilities, such as working restaurants and hair salons that are open to the public and mirror what students can expect to find in work.
The specialist education team at Ward Hadaway was already highly experienced before taking on this latest programme of work, having previously advised on over 100 school converter and sponsored academies.
Graham Shaw, Partner in the education team, said: “We are delighted to have been able to assist so many schools, sponsors and proposers to adopt academy status or open new schools at the start of this new school year.
“Embarking on academy status can be an exciting and challenging time for teachers, pupils and parents so it has been rewarding for us as a team to have played a part in this process for so many schools and academies.
“Working with such committed governing bodies, head teachers, staff, sponsors and proposers is a great experience and we hope the work which we have carried out will lead to even better learning experiences for the students this year and in future years.”
The academies projects which the team has worked on for the start of the new school year span a wide range of types, including sponsored and school converter academies at different locations and with different backgrounds.
The team has advised on schools becoming individual academies with their own academy trust; on schools becoming academies as part of a multi-academy trust and on established multi-academy trusts expanding their reach to include academies, free schools and studio schools.
It has also helped single academies becoming multi-academy trusts and on a new free school, the Al-Madinah inDerby, which has a Muslim ethos.
Graham Shaw has led the team on the projects with support from Associate Louise Castle and expert input from Ward Hadaway’s specialist property, employment, commercial and pensions teams.
Graham said: “There are many different facets to becoming an academy, a free school or a studio school so schools need to have advice on a wide range of areas.
“Fortunately, we can call on extensive resources from within Ward Hadaway to provide real expertise on these issues so that our clients can plan their academy moves with real confidence and concentrate more of their time on their pupils.
“This has helped us to attract clients from right across the country with a diverse range of needs. As an increasing number of schools consider converting to academy status, we see ourselves as well placed to help organisations as one of the leading law firms nationally advising on this area.”
Graham Shaw’s expertise in advising on academies and free schools is well established.
He has spoken at national conferences on academy status, he co-wrote the publication ‘A Plain Guide To The Academies Act 2010’ and also advised on a number of the first free schools in the country.
PICTURE CAPTION: Academies success – Louise Castle and Graham Shaw of Ward Hadaway’s specialist education team.
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