Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell – Services to the Education sector

As a provider of education, we understand that you need straightforward, sensible legal advice to help you achieve your goals. We understand that you have a lot to achieve: to meet the needs of pupils, students, their families and your staff, against the constraints of limited financial resource. Our national team of lawyers, who are specialists in education matters, are committed to help you:

  • Achieve what you need to achieve
  • Be resilient to the challenges you face
  • Embrace opportunities for growth and progress.

In doing so, we pride ourselves in providing a high-quality, responsive and comprehensive service to our clients which include:

Academies Board members Free schools
Further education colleges Independent schools Individual teachers and governors
Multi-academy trusts (MATs) Nurseries Parents/pupils
Schools Sixth form colleges Universities

Whatever the issue, we have a team on hand to guide you through how to successfully implement your strategic goals and to manage the day-to-day issues that arise along the way.

We’re also proud to work closely with partners within the education sector and can connect you with services including finance, HR operations, payroll administration, occupational health and facilities management. Together we offer comprehensive support and insight that goes above and beyond traditional legal services.

“Irwin Mitchell has been a trusted partner of our school for a few years now. In that time, they have provided pragmatic advice which is focused on helping our school meet its objectives. The team ensures that we find effective solutions to the issues we face without unnecessary delay and have supported us in taking pre-emptive action before issues develop. Taking their advice, we have achieved mutually beneficial outcomes for the school and staff which has in turn saved the school money.”

Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College

How we can help

We provide specialist, personable and proactive support with the full range of matters that affect education organisations. Our specialist team can help you with:

  • Academy conversions
  • Admissions and exclusions
  • Challenges to regulatory bodies
  • Charity regulation and governance
  • Commercial contracts
  • Freedom of information
  • Funding and school governance
  • GDPR
  • HR & employment law
  • Immigration
  • Judicial reviews
  • Land and property matters
  • Policies and procedures for legal compliance
  • Procurement
  • Resolution of disputes
  • Safeguarding
  • Special Education Needs
  • Subject Access Requests

IM Educate

We provide many of our services to education institutes through our IM Educate products. These give you:

  • The comfort of knowing you have access to expert legal advice on the full range of issues – whether for step by step guidance or sounding board advice
  • Budgetary control – a range of discounted rates and fixed fees
  • A personal service – no call centres, just direct telephone numbers and emails for those assigned to support you
  • Specialist advice – the IM Educate team are all experienced in the Education sector
  • Solutions-focussed and pragmatic advice – to get you the outcomes you need

IM Educate Bank of Hours – for a full range of legal services

Through buying a bank of hours, we give substantial discounts on our normal hourly rates. This is a popular service which gives an excellent level of support, maximum flexibility and good budgetary control.

Key features:

  • You can buy a bank of hours reflecting the anticipated level of support needed – the more you buy in one block, the better rate we can offer. Should you utilise all the purchased hours, you will be able to “top” these hours up when you need to
  • Banked hours don’t expire and can be used as and when necessary
  • Broad in scope – it covers all the employment law advice you need and extends to day-to-day and general advice on many other legal areas, including education law, subject access requests, and data protection. Some substantive legal areas are excluded, such as GDPR, litigation, and commercial transactions/conversions – full details of these additional areas can be given on request.

We are always upfront and transparent about our fees, ensuring that you are fully aware of your usage and comfortable to purchase additional hours, if necessary.

IM Educate HR retainer

This gives cost certainty that all routine and day-to-day employment matters are covered for an annual fixed fee.

This service includes:

  • Direct access to your dedicated solicitor
  • Our easy-to-understand and pragmatic support helps you to meet your legal obligations and protect your organisation
  • A written compliance audit of your existing employment contracts, policies and procedures, along with recommendations for amendment/improvement where appropriate
  • A dedicated website which contains useful information and precedents. This also includes a practical and user-friendly online employment law manual. Our manual features managers’ guidance tool-kits which can be used to appraise managers of important legal concepts, and practical advice when dealing with difficult and unfamiliar situations
  • Invitations to our training programmes and HR forums, for you and your team. We can also design bespoke in-house training (additional costs may apply)
  • Regular email bulletins comprising case developments and relevant legal updates
  • Access to an employee benefits platform for your staff – the platform occupies a range of benefits, including discounts at Asda, Sainsbury’s, Interflora, Goldsmiths, Boots, Marks & Spencer and much more
  • Optional access to a professional, confidential, specialist Employee Stress Counselling Helpline, a Health and Safety service


Get in touch

To find out more about our services and fees, please get in touch. We will ensure that you are put in touch with the right person for the area of support you need.

Jenny Arrowsmith

Partner – Education employment specialist

T: 0113 218 6446

M: 07718 668646


Melanie Bancroft

Business Development Manager

T: 0114 274 4489

M: 07918 738251