Head of Education


Caraline has over 20 years’ experience in education law and has worked all over the country advising on a full range of state education issues including policy initiatives, building programmes, funding and grants, projects, shared use, SEN, admissions and exclusions, tribunal work, appeals, child protection and safety issues. She has provided training nationally on many education issues, including running conferences on academies and has both written for, and edited, the journal 'Education, Public Law and the Individual'. Caraline is a member of the Executive Committee of the Education Law Association.

Caraline has provided extensive advice and training on the academies programme and legislation to schools, local authorities and other educational professionals, as well as providing commercial contract advice. She has negotiated CTAs on numerous school conversions, drafted articles and funding agreements for free schools and has experience of drafting bespoke agreements for academy schools housing SEN units, defining responsibility for additional funding and teaching and ownership of equipment, such as health provided aids. Caraline’s experience extends to providing information law advice to schools, including data protection and freedom of information, as well as advising on consultation and admissions requirements, safeguarding and pupil policies. She also has experience of school PFI and the conversion of such schools to academy status and has advised on independent schools returning to the state sector via the academy route.

Examples of recent work

  • Recently advised on the conversion of a PFI school, drafting the commercial transfer agreement, commissioning agreement and funding agreements and working with David Hunter on the PFI aspects of the conversion.
  • Advised on all aspects of several academy conversions over the past 12 months, over the range of the state sector including the conversion of maintained schools, pupil referral units, special schools and the re-brokering of several academies.
  • Providing due diligence and advice on the merger of several further education and sixth form colleges following the Department for Education’s area reviews.
  • Providing data protection and safeguarding advice to maintained schools, academies and multi-academy trusts.
  • Advising on the secondment of a headteacher to a failing academy and drafting the necessary agreements.

Qualifications and career

  • LLB(Hons), Dip L.G.
  • Articled clerk at Stockport MBC,  1989-91
  • Solicitor at Lancashire CC, 1991-94
  • Solicitor at Bolton MBC, 1994-96
  • Group leader of personal services at Oldham MBC, 1996-98
  • Assistant head of legal services, Leicester City Council, 1998-2000
  • Associate at Wragge & Co, 2000-2004
  • Associate at Bevan Brittan LLP, 2004-2008
  • Senior associate at Bevan Brittan LLP, 2008-2013

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Executive committee member of the Education Law Association 
  • Editorial board of 'Education, Public Law and the Individual'
  • Trustee Southend YMCA