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Law firm excels at school

Tuesday 6 November 2012 5:00

Law firm Ward Hadaway has been winning work in the education sector advising on the creation of three new academies.

The firm’s education team provided legal advice on the setting up of Pennyman Primary, Brambles Primary and Chandlers Ridge Primary as the first primary schools in Middlesbrough to become academies.

This was part of a portfolio of education work which saw the team advise on 13 academies, two free schools, a studio school and a trust school across the country.

As well as assisting on the three academies in Middlesbrough, all of which converted to academy status in September, Ward Hadaway also advised on the transfer of an existing sponsored academy – North Shore Health Academy in Stockton-on-Tees – to a new sponsor operating in the North East.

The education team has previously advised on more than 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 to become academies 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 at so many schools.

“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 in Derby, which has a Muslim ethos.