Academy Conversions


Tricky Issues 

Wednesday 9 March 2016, 9.30am registration (9.45am start) – 1.00pm (followed by lunch) Freeths Nottingham, (with Video Conferencing Equipment to Freeths offices in Leicester, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield)

Presented by Sharpe Pritchard and Freeths

Seminar overview

An exploration of common, and potentially, complex issues associated with Academy conversions and ongoing relationships between the local authority and Academies. This will be an intermediate course. It is not a guide to the whole conversion process itself and will therefore be useful for those who already have some experience of Academy conversion.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Land Transfers – examples of complex issues and how to resolve them;
  • What the DFE don’t tell you. Difficult issues in finalising Academy Conversion documents
  • Governance arrangements within different forms of multi Academy trusts.

Duration:  Half a day (3 CPD points) including lunch

Speaker profiles:

Catherine Newman, Senior Solicitor at Sharpe Pritchard LLP joined Sharpe Pritchard in 2010. She specialises in contract and procurement matters. Prior to this she acquired extensive experience of local government legal matters, gained over fifteen years working as an in-house solicitor.

Catherine has particular experience in the field of education. She has provided advice and assistance to local government officers and members, head teachers, school governors and academy trustees on a wide range of education issues, with particular emphasis on whole school structural and governance issues. Whilst working as a senior solicitor, at Cambridgeshire County Council, Catherine provided legal support on the establishment of a number of trust schools, and to achieve tailor made, local solutions for schools in an OfSTED category. She also provided in-house legal support on the Council’s BSF programme.

Since joining Sharpe Pritchard Catherine has worked with a number of local authorities to complete the commercial aspects of multiple academy conversions; including sponsored and PFI projects.

Catherine has also provided extensive legal support on a number of complex procurement projects including the outsourcing of education services by Slough BC. Recent work has also included advice on the joint procurement of schools meals by three London boroughs and the ongoing procurement of special education needs and mainstream transport services by a large county council.

Susie March, Solicitor at Sharpe Pritchard LLP has experience in advising public sector, registered providers of social housing and commercial clients on their property portfolios including property disposals and transfers, drafting and negotiating leases, agreements for lease, licence, assignments and dealing with a wide range of landlord and tenant issues.”

Chris Holwell, Partner at Freeths advises education sector clients in relation to construction, refurbishment and maintenance projects.  His clients include Education Authorities, Schools, Universities and Colleges.  He has also acted for contractors and consultants working in the education sector and so has experience on “both sides of the fence”, which enables him to avoid wasting time by asking for unrealistic clauses in contracts.  His experience on the Authority/Client side in the education sector includes new primary and secondary schools under PFI, BSF, Academies Framework and DfE direct funded ones.  Also new buildings for Colleges and Universities and a variety of education sector facilities management contracts.



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If you would like to send a list of registrants, please email Julie.Scheller@freeths.co.uk.