We assisted Whitehill Primary School convert from community school to foundation/trust school status and then we acted for the school again, a year later, as it converted into an academy and re-structured its foundation body (Whitehill Community Learning Trust).
We were again instructed by the academy, this time to convert it from a single academy into a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) into which other community schools could also convert as academies. We believe that Whitehill was amongst the first academies to make this transition.
What was our role?
We were responsible for:
- drafting and negotiating with the Department for Education (DfE) revised Articles of Association reflecting the change of structure from a stand-alone academy to an umbrella body responsible for multiple academies;
- drafting a Deed of Variation to convert Whitehill’s Funding Agreement with DfE into a Master Funding Agreement for the MAT;
- drafting Supplemental Funding Agreements between the MAT and DfE in relation to Whitehill and the other school joining the MAT;
- drafting and negotiating with the relevant local authority a Commercial Transfer Agreement to transfer staff, contracts and other assets and liabilities from the local authority to the new MAT; and
- drafting Schemes of Delegation setting out the delegation of authority for day to day operational matters from the executive board of the MAT to the headteachers and local governing bodies of the two schools.
How did we add value?
Our experience of academies, DfE model documentation and dealing with DfE staff meant that we were able to pro-actively lead Whitehill and the other school through the necessary processes to achieve conversion within challenging time scales. Given that the process of converting from single academy to multi-academy trust is still relatively new we were also able to influence the DfE in refining some of their processes.
For more information
Anthony Collins Solicitors provided excellent legal services in all aspects throughout our journey from a maintained school to a trust school, then to an academy and now to a MAT. The team have led us through the process which was a complicated one with the conversion to MAT running alongside the conversion of another school joining the MAT. They were always available to deal with issues from ourselves, the DfE and the local authority. Despite a lot of difficult issues the conversion took place on the planned date thanks to the hard work of the Anthony Collins Solicitors team. We will have no hesitation in using them in the future, as more schools join our MAT and for other legal issues that may arise.Roy Hepplestone, Executive Principal.
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