Making the decision whether or not to convert is one of the most important decisions that school governors will ever face.
There is strong evidence on both sides of the argument but ultimately the single question which we would urge all governors to ask themselves is ‘what is in the best interests of the present and future pupils of the school’?
Although this is not strictly a ‘legal’ question it is one that will be informed by the governors having a clear understanding of the options available and legal consequences of conversion.
To help governors answer this crucial question we have a number of free downloadable publications and also facilitate or participate in seminars and workshops in relation to academy conversions.
It is also important for governors to have a very clear understanding of the various legal structural options open to them namely:
- single academy;
- umbrella trust;
- collaborative partnership; and
- multi academy trust (MAT).
Unless there are complications due to existing PFI or other funding initiatives, the conversion process is usually straightforward but relatively time consuming and labour intensive.
Because we are dealing with a standard process (prescribed by the DfE) we are able to carry out the legal work arising out of a conversion on a fixed fee basis which includes:
- forming the academy trust and drafting its constitution (articles of association);
- negotiating and agreeing the Funding Agreement with the DfE;
- negotiating and agreeing the Commercial Transfer Agreement with the local authority;
- preparing a detailed ‘report on title’ relating to the land and school buildings and dealing with the registration formalities with HM Land Registry; and
- advising in relation to employee transfer (TUPE) and pension issues.
As we regard the conversion process as the first step in establishing our relationship with you, we provide ongoing legal support in relation to the legal issues you will encounter post conversion.
We also facilitate or participate in seminars and workshops in relation to recent developments in the Education Sector.