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London School Organisation & Reorganisation Advice for Schools
Educational establishments in London benefit greatly from good school organisation and management plans which allow them to make sure there are sufficient and relevant school places and comply with their statutory duty. Additionally, effective plans allow schools to sustain themselves into the future and deliver the highest possible standards of education.
What does ‘school organisation’ mean?
How an educational institution is structured is basically what school organisation refers to. For example, schools in London are sometimes set up as a combined primary school, but can also be a separate infant school on one site with the junior building on another. It could be the school is Local Authority controlled or it might be a foundation school, an academy or a grammar school controlled by a Trust, a Foundation Body or a Local Authority.
Basically school organisation comprises the structure of the school; the method by which it is run, governed and funded; how many classes it has and the way in which teachers and children work together.
What is the Role of School Organisation in London?
The role of school organisation within the community at large is vital. Some school structures in London will have direct effects on the local environment, for example by reducing traffic or enhancing family life. This is usually the result when junior and infant schools converge onto a shared site. There are also educational benefits of certain school structures in London as some of them can boost the quality of learning and continuity.
Good school organisation makes a significant difference to the running of the institution. Schools in London looking to make the best use of available resources, reduce outgoings and boost reputation should seek to improve their school organisation structure.
What Does School Reorganisation Involve?
Schools in London will often opt to restructure so they can blend in better with the local demographic. In some districts such as Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth or Westminster schools may be facing issues around funding and their decision to restructure will be based on this.
A reorganisation might involve the merger of a junior and infant school or the additional of a new feeder primary school. Some schools in London have been known to add a sixth form or, more commonly, change the size of their classes.
Whatever the format of the reorganisation, the changing of a school organisation and management system will incorporate a number of steps. There is a need to liaise with school governors, the Education Funding Agency and Ofsted and a set consultation process must be followed. Funding agreements will need altering as will Articles of Association and a business plan has to be drafted and presented for approval. All of these steps will call for expert legal assistance, so schools are well advised to call upon the knowledge of a London education law specialist with particular experience in school reorganisation.
How Does a London School Convert to an Academy?
Many schools across the Capital are converting to academy status making it one of the most popular methods of school organisation and administration structure changes in London.
Academies are funded directly by central government as opposed to state schools which receive funding from their Local Authorities. In an academy, it is the Head Teacher who is in charge of the daily running. The management is overseen by charitable bodies – ‘academy trusts’ – which deliver expertise, advice and support. Admissions are controlled directly by the academy and there is a much higher level of flexibility when it comes to innovating and developing the establishment.
When a school makes the decision to convert to an academy, it has to work through various steps, starting with the conversion application. Once that is signed off, the school has to join or set up an Academy Trust. Responsibilities are then transferred and, once that is done, the school is able to re-open as an academy.
The first few months will call for a number of steps to be followed. These will be set out in an information pack provided by the Education Funding Agency, which will also provide the first payment.
What Help is Available from HCB Solicitors for London Schools Wishing to Reorganise?
The specialist London based education law experts at HCB’s London office have an extensive bank of knowledge to share with any school looking to reorganise or convert.
HCB offers a comprehensive service across the full spectrum of school organisation in London. Not only can our dedicated lawyers assist in communicating the implications and objectives of school reorganisation to everyone involved including students, parents and staff, they can also offer full support with the daily operation of the new structure.
Thanks to their experience and knowledge in property law, employment law, commercial law, tax and financial matters and charity law, our London based experts can efficiently project manage and provide strategic advice on:
- Change of category
For schools looking to convert into academies, our London education law specialists can offer nationally regarded expertise for a smooth-running conversion courtesy of their experience in working closely alongside project managers, promoters and sponsors.
Some schools in London opt to switch to foundation status and others have a desire to convert to a trust school. In these cases they are able to rely on our City-bred specialist knowledge.
Whatever the nature of the transition, our goal is to make sure the school stays legally compliant from start to finish. Our assistance is provided on a flexible basis: London schools can accept as little or as much help as they need, from a review of documents upwards to complete project management.
Should your London based establishment be looking for guidance on any of the aspects of school organisation, or assistance with a conversion or reorganisation, talk to HCB Solicitors. Our services are offered across the whole of the Capital, and we await your call.