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School governance

School governance

Independent Schools

Governance advice for independent schools

The governing body is an essential structure at a charitable independent school and every thriving school owes a significant part of its success to them. The Governors themselves often receive little in the way of appreciation or thanks. Yet as part-time, unpaid, non-executives they are at risk of personal liability and must ensure they carry out the charity's objectives and do not act in excess of their powers.

We understand governance from your perspective and many of our lawyers and partners are themselves governors of independent schools. We are trusted legal advisers and friends to many chairs of governors who we have helped through challenging times and who regularly use us as a sounding board.

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Training and support for Governing Bodies

An informed and well trained governing body is the key starting point for good governance. We can support good governance in your school through our Schools Law Brief, OnStream and with bespoke training for your governing body to keep you up-to-date with the latest law and best practice.

We also support the Association for Governing Bodies in Independent Schools (AGBIS) by acting as their lawyers and speaking at their conferences.

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School crisis management

In times of crisis and opportunity, Governors have an important role in taking some of the pressure off the head and also in dealing with professional advisers, the media, staff and parents. We know that you need practical advice, often out of normal office hours, to have confidence to act in the best interests of your school. We also have good working relationships with key players at the Charity Commission which helps us find practical cost efficient solutions but we also experienced at challenging their decisions where necessary or desirable.

For school governance advice or to arrange training for your governing body, please contact Barney Northover on 0117 314 5395.

VWV's education team are commercially astute and keep up to speed with trends and moves in the independent school sector - they are therefore able to provide relevant and up-to-date advice to clients.

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Meet the Team

Our independent schools lawyers have a broad variety of legal expertise and offer a full legal service to the independent schools sector

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Barney Northover - Partner & Education Lawyer in Bristol - VWV Solicitors

Independent Schools

Charity Law


Simon Bevan - Partner & Education Employment Lawyer in Bristol - VWV Solicitors

Employment Law

Independent Schools

Tabitha Cave - Partner & Dispute Resolution Solicitor in Bristol - VWV Solicitors

News & Events

Gemma Nicholas joins VWV as healthcare regulatory expert
VWV is delighted to announce that Gemma Nicholas has joined The Healthcare team as a leading expert in the healthcare regulatory sector.
1 Jul 2024
Practical Strategies Conference 2024
Our annual Practical Strategies Conference is due to take place on 26 September 2024 in London. Join us, and our line-up of leading minds in the sector, to explore 'The Evolution of the Independent School'.
26 Sep 2024
Back to School
We deliver an overview of changes to education law and guidance which will apply from September 2024 in order to help schools to prepare for the start of the next academic year.
27 Aug 2024