Six conversions in six months for academies team

First published in Business: Law The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Business Editor

A TEAM of specialist education lawyers have completed their sixth academy conversion in as many months.

Solicitors at BHP Law have worked with primary and secondary schools throughout County Durham, Darlington and Sunderland to confirm their status as experts in the field as more schools in the region seek to convert.

The conversions began early in the year in Sunderland with Benedict Biscop Church of England Academy, which was the first of the city's primary schools to convert, followed by Eppleton Academy Primary School and East Herrington Primary Academy this summer.

In Easington, the community science college converted in April to become Easington Academy.

Most recently the firm has advised governors at Gurney Pease Primary in Darlington on its conversion which saw it join The Education Village multi academy trust.

The final school in the six is Woodham Community Technology College, which converted on September 1 when it became known as Woodham Academy.

David Lucas, a partner and company law specialist at BHP Law, said: "It has been a very busy year for us and for our client schools who have been keen to take advantage of the opportunities that converting to an academy represents.

"It's been pleasing to see that many of our new instructions have come as a result of schools recommending us to their colleagues because of their satisfaction over the way we have handled their conversions."

Mr Lucas has also provided training on academy issues to Darlington Borough Council's governor support team and together with partner Sonia Hunter, who leads the academy property team at BHP Law, has hosted a seminar on conversions in Sunderland, run in conjunction with the Department for Education.

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