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We are experts in the education sector providing pragmatic and responsive advice to clients in an ever-changing landscape.  We advise a range of education providers including academies and other schools, university colleges, further and higher education providers, independent schools and employers providing apprenticeships.

We have been working with the education sector extensively for many years and as a result of this our legal services reflect your legal needs

To see how we can help you, contact Joanna

Academies and other Schools

Whether you’re a new Academy or a well-established Multi Academy Trust looking to expand, our specialist team advises on a wide range of issues. We have a wealth of knowledge, supporting your school to become the best education provider it can be.  We have helped a number of schools with the legal aspects of converting to Academy status since the inception of the Academies Act in 2010 and the transfer of existing Academies or MATs to other MATs. Our knowledgeable team will work to understand your requirements and deliver the outcome you require effectively and efficiently.

Apprenticeship Providers

Our team has experience of advising employers on the intricacies of new apprenticeship arrangements or expanding existing ones.

Cambridge Colleges

Our education team has now been instructed by 21 of the 31 Cambridge Colleges on a range of matters involving fellows, members, students and employees. We provide bespoke training to the Cambridge Colleges which draws on our clear understanding of the issues and challenges specific to the college environment. Our extensive knowledge enables our team to provide significant added value – we can often save cost for our college clients as we are likely to have encountered similar situations and identified potential solutions before.

Further and Higher Education

Our team enjoys working with a range of further and higher education clients. We have delivered legal advice on many strategically important projects which have attracted significant profile and, in some cases, national interest.

Independent Schools

We have long standing relationships with a number of independent schools and provide advice on a wide range of legal needs. As a result, our team has a reputation for understanding the pressures and challenges independent schools face. We believe that the team’s success is a direct result of us building a clear understanding of a school’s unique approach and culture alongside establishing strong working relationships.

Examples of advice

  • Advising a local Secondary Single Academy Trust (‘SAT’) to form a MAT and subsequently assisting the new MAT in joining forces with another Primary SAT
  • Advising on one of the first conversions for a secondary school owned by the Governing Body – advice involved establishing the new academy company and transferring all the property elements within eight weeks
  • Converting a diverse primary school, which included the continuing provision of a Children’s Centre within the school building and a separate nursery/pre-school
  • Converting a primary school, part LEA-controlled and part Diocese-controlled. The team liaised with all parties to ensure a smooth and continuing provision of all services and community amenities
  • Drafting and reviewing apprenticeship agreements in England, Wales and Scotland under the new apprenticeship standards
  • Advising on the apprenticeship levy
  • Advising on the termination, redundancy and performance of apprentices
  • Advising on the impact of COVID-19 on apprenticeships
  • Advising Cambridge Colleges on restructures and changes of terms and conditions such as a proposal to reduce a normal working week of staff from 40 hours to 37.5 hours, affecting over 100 employees, which gave rise to equal pay issues, less favourable treatment because of part-time status, constructive unfair dismissal risks and pension considerations
  • Advising on constructions matters including the construction documentation for a major extension to the recreational facilities for Cambridge College students
  • Reviewing contractual documentation including the terms for catering and conference events for Cambridge Colleges
  • Advising Cambridge Colleges on pension issues such as the winding up of a final salary pension scheme
  • Supported a Senior Tutor to protect the College following a student complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA).
  • Advising Cambridge Colleges on immigration matters such as right to work queries, Tier 2 and Tier 4 Student visas and the implications/planning for Brexit
  • Advising a FE college on the liability for redundancy payments connected with a TUPE transfer
  • Advising a university on the development of a new specialist medical centre
  • Advising further and higher education clients on a range of property matters including lease renewals
  • Working with an FE college on the funding arrangements for the acquisition of new facilities
  • Advising independent schools on all real estate issues including lease renewals, lease surrenders, temporary letting of hotel rooms for students to comply with COVID-19 related measures, s278 agreements and staff accommodation arrangements
  • Advising independent schools on all construction issues such as the construction documents in connection with the design and construction of a new sports facility and the demolition of existing boarding houses
  • Dealing with refinancing/borrowing matters for independent schools such as the funding of a new sports hall
  • Handling data privacy matters for independent schools, including subject access requests

“For several years now the school has received excellent counsel from a proactive, responsive and professional team. We were recommended to Greenwoods GRM by other schools and the recommendation has repeatedly proven itself as an excellent one.”

(Witham Hall School Trust)

“I know I can rely on the team at Greenwoods to provide timely and pragmatic advice. They have a thorough understanding of the sector and this, as well as their expertise in their field, makes their advice particularly valuable.”

(Churchill College, Cambridge)

Our schools have long-standing relationships with Greenwoods, and we have found their support and advice invaluable over the years. As a dynamic organisation ourselves, we need more than ever a service responsive to our changing needs. Greenwoods, through its exemplary people, deliver this without compromise. We hold our partnership in the highest regard.”

(Peterborough Key Academies Trust)

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