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Academy governance

Academies, MATs & Schools


Governance advice for academies, MATs and schools

The governing body is an essential structure at any school (be it a maintained school, a stand alone academy or a multi academy trust and every school that is thriving owes a significant part of its success to them. With the rapid expansion of the academies programme, financial governance for multi academy trusts has been particularly in the spotlight whilst the Education Funding Agency seeks to ensure the protection of public money.

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How can we help?

We understand governance from your perspective and many of our lawyers are themselves school governors. We are trusted legal advisers and friends to many chairs of governors, heads, CEOs and company secretaries who we have helped through times of change and through their day to day operation.

Our advice to schools, academies and multi academy trusts includes:

  • Schemes of governance, management and delegation

  • Terms of reference for committees (including local governing bodies)

  • The duties and responsibilities of charity trustees and dealing with conflicts of interest

  • Company secretarial support

  • Dealing with a financial notice to improve

  • Constitutional amendments and dealing with regulators

  • Changes to multi academy trust status

  • The establishment of umbrella trusts and shared services vehicles

Many schools also use our HR & Legal Services Retainer for the more day to day queries which arise in connection with governance and the role of the company secretary.

Incident management

At some point  in a school or an academy trust's life, governors can find themselves dealing with a critical incident. We have extensive experience of providing professional support in situations which may involve safeguarding, tragic events, financial or other impropriety, health and safety, criminal activity, often accompanied by intensive media coverage.

We know that when the unforeseen happens you need practical advice, often out of normal office hours. We also have good working relationships with key regulators and are experienced at challenging their decisions where necessary or desirable.

Training and support

An informed and well trained governing body is the starting point for good governance. We can support good governance in your school, academy or multi academy trust through our email bulletin, Academies and Schools Law Brief, and with bespoke training for your governing body to keep you up to date with the latest law and best practice.

For good governance advice please contact Chloe Brunton (Governance) on 0117 314 5301, or Yvonne Spencer (Critical Incidents) on 0117 314 5202.

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Meet the Team

We provide academies with experienced education lawyers who are always on hand to give practical solutions to problems and the confidence to react positively to opportunities.

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Yvonne Spencer - Partner & Education Lawyer in London - VWV Law Firm
Alice Reeve - Education Employment Lawyer in Bristol - VWV Law Firm
Matthew Wolton -Partner in Bristol

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VWV have supported longstanding client, the University of Bristol, in relation to Artificial Intelligence Research Resource hosted by the University known as "Isambard-AI".
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After the event - effective post-exam services.
Partners James Garside and Yvonne spencer discuss law and best practice of post-exam support for schools planning for this year's public exam results.
27 Jun 2024