Holley Park Academy working with Samuel Phillips Law Firm

Member Article

Dedicated legal team helps Holley Park become Academy

Samuel Phillips Law Firm has completed the conversion to Academy status of a Primary School in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

On 1st August, 2012, Holley Park Primary School, in Oxclose, Washington, became Holley Park Academy. The decision to convert was made by the school’s governors as the school was very popular and able to meet the current conversion criteria. Over several months, a team from Samuel Phillips Law Firm has worked closely with Holley Park’s Business Manager Glenda Wood, Headteacher Sharon Wright and Office Manager Christine Dodd to complete the conversion.

Ms Wood said: “We were looking for a local legal firm that understood our values, our aims and where we wanted to be. We chose Samuel Phillips because they were personable and approachable. They have been an integral part of the conversion process, and we hope to maintain a close working partnership with the firm in the future.”

Using a range of expertise, Samuel Phillips Law Firm has assisted the management team of Holley Park in a smooth transfer to Academy status. The work of the legal team has included the transfer of the school’s assets, setting up of a company limited by guarantee, and also advising on the funding agreements with the Department of Education. It has negotiated the lease of the land to the Academy Trust, and also carried out due diligence on the predecessor school on a range of issues including contracts the school already had in place and more practical matters such as the condition of the buildings, and addressing any issues or problems that were highlighted during the due diligence process. Samuel Phillips’ Employment Law team has also been involved in the TUPE transfer of staff contracts.

Ian Gibson, specialist in Commercial Law with Samuel Phillips Law Firm, said: “The transfer to Academy status requires expertise in a wide range of legal fields, and it is essential that any school undertaking this process finds a legal team they are happy to work closely with. Together with the school’s management team, we began the process in April, and we are delighted to have completed the transfer on 1st August ahead of the new school year.

“The staff we have worked with at Holley Park Academy are committed to delivering the best education for all the pupils. It has been a pleasure working with the school, and we wish the staff and pupils all the best as the new term starts in a matter of weeks.”

Ms Wood added: “There was a lot of support for the conversion to Academy status. It will give the school more autonomy, and greater control over its budget, allowing us to buy in the services that our children need.

“Children at Holley Park are encouraged to develop confidence in their own ability, work collaboratively, show tolerance and be polite and caring towards others. Here they will receive a broad education in a welcoming, cheerful and stimulating environment in which all can successfully learn.”

Robert Gibson, managing partner of Samuel Phillips Law Firm, commented: “The transfer to Academy status requires a range of legal expertise, and we have formed a dedicated team with experience in commercial, employment and property law, as well as complimentary business development expertise. As well as the complete service, Samuel Phillips brings a personal touch to the process – an element which was definitely appreciated by the management team at Holley Park Academy.”

Samuel Phillips Law Firm is based in central Newcastle. It offers a comprehensive range of legal services to business and private clients. For any further information, please see www.samuelphillips.co.uk.

For more information on Holley Park Academy please visit www.holleyparkprimary.co.uk.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Emma Hignett, i2i Business Solutions .

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