Academies & Free Schools

“The firm's service level and responsive is an area of strength - I have found all staff to be exceptionally personable and professional.”

Chambers, 2024

“Wilsons were very supportive, prompt to respond, and offered personnel with a range of expertise.”

Chambers, 2024

“Wilsons have a very strong and able team and a breadth of knowledge, and are very quick to act when necessary”

Chambers, 2024

“We have always received comprehensive responses to the queries raised and the team at Wilsons have a broad range of knowledge, experience and expertise.”

Chambers, 2024

“The teams at Wilsons are extremely well coordinated. They each have complementary skills, that combine effectively to ensure that their guidance and advice is accurate, timely and based on a wide knowledge base. All cases they have been involved in for us have resulted in a favourable resolution”

Legal 500, 2023

“Excellent education knowledge in the team.”

Legal 500, 2023

Change – it’s our specialist subject

The wind of change continues to blow through state education. So whether you’re converting to academy status, establishing a free school or already operating within a new model, our specialist Education team is on hand to help you take on the future.

Achieving academy status

We’ve been helping both secondary and primary schools become academies since the Academies Act 2010 first became law. So whether you’re looking to convert as a standalone academy or as part of an academy group, multi-academy trust, umbrella trust or collaborative partnership, we can advise on the best way forward for you and your pupils.

From transferring existing employees and land, to advising on the terms of your Funding Agreement with the Department of Education, we’ll take care of every step of the conversion process. And our support doesn’t end once you achieve academy status – we’ll continue to provide guidance and advice as you move forward.


Establishing a free school

You’ve decided to set up a free school, but where do you start? What are the property laws you need to consider when finding a site? Are there employment policies you need to follow? And what are your obligations to pupils once you’re up and running? 

We can answer all of these questions – and more – to ensure you have the guidance, support and expertise you need to establish a successful free school.