General advice on all legal matters as part of an annual Legal Services package:
- Special Educational Needs and Disability
- Teachers’ and governors’ duties and responsibilities
- Articles of government
- Contracts and tendering
- Health and safety
- Property litigation
- Contractual and employment matters
Case work and representation (additional costs apply):
- Any litigation (civil and criminal) where proceedings are issued – including employment tribunals and SEND tribunals
- Acting on your school’s behalf on matters such as disputes over contracts, disputes with parents and employment tribunals
- Drafting of any type of contract
- Negotiation of terms
Why choose us?
The landscape within the education sector is continually changing and as a consequence there are increasing demands and challenges for Schools and Academies. Legal Services therefore provide professional legal advice and support to schools and academies to assist them in dealing with the plethora of issues that arise within an academic year.
We have a team of legal professionals experienced in all aspects of law that impact schools/academies.
- Our employment lawyers are highly effective in dealing with a range of non-contentious and contentious employment law issues including discrimination matters, unfair dismissal, long-term sickness absence, compromise agreements and TUPE regulations.
- Our civil litigation solicitors have wide ranging experience of all property litigation matters, debt recovery and possession proceedings.
- The team also has extensive experience in contractual disputes, disputes with parents and anti-social behaviour orders and SEN issues including representation at SEN Tribunals
- Our Commercial Contracts and Procurement team advise in relation to school’s compliance with requirements to follow Council’s contract rules in expenditure on contracts for goods/works and services.
- The team also advises on company governance queries affecting academy trusts.
We will provide you with a named contact to enable you to access advice and support quickly:
- Your contact will arrange to meet you annually as part of your strategic planning cycle to proactively identify any issues or opportunities that may require legal input in the coming year.
- You will be offered a second meeting later in the year to review your needs.
- Your contact can signpost you to the appropriate specialist within our team to get the best advice possible.
- We can also arrange for a lawyer to attend difficult meetings with you to ensure you get the back-up and support you need, when you need it.
We work closely with colleagues across the council – a relationship that you benefit from when you buy your legal services from us:
- We can access up-to-the-minute information and analysis of government policy and legislation and its impact on schools and education.
- We can liaise with our social care colleagues to ensure a co-ordinated approach to child protection and issues regarding vulnerable families.
- We can draw on the skills of the council’s communication team to provide media handling and advice for issues which may attract media attention.
- We aim to ensure that high quality legal services are delivered in a responsive proactive and problemsolving way, providing these services ourselves or in partnership with others.
- We aim to provide relevant timely up-to-date practical advice and response to queries whether written, by telephone or in person.
The Employment Team have represented the interests of number of schools involved in complex employment tribunal cases arising from unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. Recently, the Employment Team vigorously defended a constructive dismissal and disability discrimination claim made by a staff member. The case was settled following negotiations saving the school many thousands of pounds, that it would otherwise have incurred but for the involvement of Legal Services.
The Civil Litigation Team has also prepared the defence/counterclaim for a school that have a claim against them pending before the High Court.
The Legal Team has compiled frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Council’s website to keep you up to speed with developments and these are constantly being reviewed and updated.
Don’t take our word for it
“I regularly work with different teams of people, however, rarely have I been as impressed with the energy, tenacity and out of the box thinking. I thank the council’s civil litigation team for the tremendous focus and determination to achieving the goal. Going the extra mile is a term I would use unreservedly. Although it has been a difficult journey, throughout the whole process I have felt safe in the knowledge that no stone will be left unturned.” Joanna Austin, Headteacher, Fibbersley Park School
Annual legal service package
General advice and assistance on all legal matters
- £1,300 per primary, secondary school or academy
- £1,000 per special or nursery school
Buy our annual legal service package and benefit from a concessionary rate for case work and representation – reduced from £150 to £90 per hour.
Conflict of interest
We will not be able to act where there is a conflict of interest between the school and the Council but we will be happy to assist in the identification of alternative sources of assistance and advice.
Find out more
Head of Law – Contentious