Bates Wells Braithwaite has a real feel for the education sector and a strong commitment to promoting better education for all young people"
Legal 500 2016

The team is absolutely on top of education law. They have a determination to do the best for not just their clients, but for the development of the education system"
Chambers 2017

Whether you are a maintained or independent school, or an academy, our team have the expertise and experience to meet any and all of your legal needs. Our clients include community schools, voluntary aided or controlled schools, foundation schools, faith schools, federations, independent schools, single academy trusts, multi-academy trusts and, free schools. We also act for the charitable trusts, sponsors and local authorities who support those schools. Legal 500 places us in the top tier for schools.
Our clients educate a wide range of pupils and students in very different settings, in special schools, 6th form colleges or 16-19 academies, maintained nursery schools, private nursery schools, alternative provision academies and PRUs, by way of example.

Legal Services

BWB’s multidisciplinary schools’ team has lawyers with expertise in all of our practice areas. We advise on:

  • Employment matters - contracts, policies and procedures as well as disputes
  • Equality obligations
  • Academy funding agreements and negotiation
  • Company formation and administration
  • Intellectual Property – rights, ownership, protection, licences, disputes
  • Property law and assistance to find or refurbish premises
  • Public procurement requirements
  • Regulatory law covering health & safety, child protection and safeguarding
  • School admissions and exclusions
  • Governance of schools, academies, trusts and colleges
  • Charity law
  • Commercial contracts – negotiation, drafting and disputes
  • Public consultation requirements
  • Information law – Data Protection and Freedom of Information

Our work includes:

  • Bringing together schools into a small multi academy trust
  • Establishing studio schools and UTCs
  • Converting academies
  • Establishing free schools
  • Sixth form consortia
  • Collaboration and joint ventures, between schools and others
  • Transferring academies between sponsors
  • Creating new multi academy trusts
  • Converting PRUs into academies
  • Challenging Ofsted
  • Governance
  • Spinning out school services from local authorities

Matters of Interest

Policy developments

BWB Education Forum hosts round table discussions on matters of importance and development for the sector, most recently on:

  • Governance of multi academy trusts
  • The future for maintained nursery schools

Summary notes can be found here.


Academy conversion

If your school is considering academy conversion, we have produced a free guide on issues to consider:
Academy Conversion: issues to consider 

Free Schools

We offer a company registration service targeted at new free school groups.
Company registration for free schools

Free Schools Governance

Free Schools Governance FAQs

Please contact us for more information or an initial conversation on how we can work with your school or multi-academy trust.