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Firm advises school on conversion to an academy and hosts free seminar for education sector

Firm advises school on conversion to an academy and hosts free seminar for education sector

Thursday 26th April 2012

Leading North West law firm Brabners Chaffe Street has advised The Oldershaw School in Wallasey on their conversion to new academy status. The Oldershaw is the first comprehensive school on the Wirral to be invited to become an academy by Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove, who gave his approval on the 1 July 2011.

Converting to an academy sees The Oldershaw break away from local authority control and receive £1m funding over two years directly from the Government. Academy status gives it more freedom over budgets, teachers' pay, the curriculum and buildings. The Oldershaw intends to build on technology, by expanding two existing computer suites and employ more teachers so pupils benefit from smaller class sizes.

A five-strong team from Brabners Chaffe Street, led by Stephen Claus, advised on the conversion. The legal team included Corporate Partner, David Maples, Commercial Partner, Stephen Roper, and Property Associate, Dewi Paddock. 

Wirral resident and Partner at Brabners Chaffe Street, Stephen Claus said: “We are pleased to have secured conversion to academy status for The Oldershaw and are aware that many other schools are contemplating the process. There are very few avenues for up-to-date and expert information for schools considering applying for academy status. Brabners Chaffe Street is one of very few law firms who specialise in this area and our forthcoming seminar, ‘Converting to an Academy', will give schools the chance to hear about issues that arise in the process of conversion and offer the opportunity for those present to network.”

Steven Peach, Headmaster of The Oldershaw, said: “I was delighted with the advice and support offered by Stephen and his team. This was a complex legal process and I felt very confident in the team's expertise, knowledge and thoroughness. They were always on the end of a telephone and were willing to meet with myself and the local authority to meet deadlines and get the job done. I would recommend Brabners Chaffe Street unreservedly.” 

‘Converting to an Academy' - free seminar for education sector

Brabners Chaffe Street is hosting a free seminar entitled ‘Converting to an Academy' for schools which would like to find out more about the process involved in converting to an academy and the legal and practical issues that need to be considered. 

Speaking at the event will be Brabners Chaffe Street Partner and academies legal expert, Stephen Claus; Christine Wilson, an academies accountancy specialist from Moore & Smalley; Kevin Jones, Project Manager with Versed Associates, who will talk about practical academy building and design issues; and Dylan Hodkinson of Mylook, who will give a brief overview of a piece of technology which provides a useful source of information for schools. In addition Steve Peach, Headteacher of The Oldershaw, will speak about the opportunities and challenges faced when converting to academy status, reflecting upon his own experience having recently gone through the process. 

The session will conclude with a forum during which those present can put forward their questions about the process.

The seminar is aimed at headteachers, deputy headteachers, governors and senior management teams of primary and secondary schools and takes place on Tuesday 20 September at Horton House, Liverpool, between 9.30am and 1pm.

To confirm your free place please email 

For further information contact Stephen Claus at Brabners on 0151 600 3000.