Sources of Advice and Assistance

Do we need a lawyer?

Legal advice and services are required at the stage of the formal application for an academy order. The various parties are encouraged where possible to use a single law firm to undertake the work for them all. However, if disagreements arise, school, diocese and trustees may need to take separate advice.

Do we need to pay someone to do the non-legal work for us?

The school may decide to pay someone other than a staff member or governor or other volunteer to undertake the administrative work.

Some will be undertaken as part of the legal package. Practice varies on this and experience suggests that is not normally necessary to pay someone, as the school leadership has to be extensively involved due to the nature of the fundamental decisions that have to be taken.

How is the cost of diocesan work covered?

The cost of diocesan work can be met from the government £25,000 grant and dioceses do seem to need this. The parties should recognise that the DfE may not wish to go beyond the £25,000 if large costs mount up because of disagreements between diocese and school. Talk first so as to avoid, or fully focus, any disagreements before lawyers become involved.