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Education sector - further education

Further education institutions have been hit particularly hard by continuing reductions in public funding.  They face the challenge of maintaining and increasing quality of provision while resources continue to contract. We can assist with advice on changing structures to increase efficiency, on managing consequent employment issues, on dealing with regulators (for example in relation to inspection outcomes or in relation to sponsorship licences) and efficient use of the college’s estate and other resources. We offer a dedicated subscription service to help colleges with governance problems, which are often at the heart of a college’s difficulties. Colleges are increasingly undertaking new activities, both within the UK and overseas, to broaden their income base and we can advise on appropriate structures and documentation.

We are dedicated to the FE sector and are always thinking about your interests. We keep up to date with sector developments and design products and services which meet and anticipate the needs of the sector.

Eversheds LLP has strength in further education….The firm has advised its further education clients through numerous acquisitions and pieces of litigation."

Legal 500

How we can help

The Eversheds Sutherland Education team provide a full service and advise across a diverse range of issues, transactions and disputes. We help our clients to develop a strategy, consistent with their goals, which balances all of their legal and commercial needs. In every area you will speak to a specialist who works as part of our dedicated education team, delivering consistent and informed advice. Some of our recent projects include advising college’s on:

  • merger projects (including advising on pensions issues).
  • governance advice (including publishing the Annotated Guide to the Instrument and Articles of Government as part of our governance service for the FE Sector).
  • compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
  • the recent automatic enrolment requirements.
  • disclosure and Barring.
  • collective consultation including fixed term employees.
  • key recent changes on student immigration and the current position on suspension and revocation of licences.
  • professional review and effective performance management.
  • estates redevelopment projects.
  • setting up academies and UTCs.

As well as working with further education college’s, we also work with a number of sector bodies in FE and are regularly asked to speak at sector conferences and events. Recently we have:

  • delivered sessions at AoC National Events (including Annual Conference, Employment Conference, Health & Safety Conference, Equality and Diversity Conference).
  • successfully been appointed across the board on the Crescent Purchasing Consortium Legal Services Framework.
  • delivered sessions at AoC Regional Events.
  • delivered sessions for the Sixth Form Colleges Association.

Our experience

We act for further education institutions throughout the UK, which provides an invaluable understanding of the sector and improves efficiency and service delivery. The following are some examples of key projects and cases that we have handled for Further Education Institutions recently:

Eversheds Sutherland advises on Heart of Worcestershire College merger

Eversheds Sutherland advises UK consortium on Saudi women’s education deal

Eversheds Sutherland ties up training deal for West Nottinghamshire College

Education act 2011 toolkit

Eversheds Sutherland's position as the leading governance adviser to the further education sector places us in the best position to assist you in making the complex choices that are now available to you. Our Education Act Toolkit has been designed to assist and guide you in this process.

Read further information on our dedicated education toolkit page .

Governance service

Eversheds Sutherland's has created a unique online service to meet the needs of Clerks at further education and sixth form colleges in England. The Eversheds Sutherland's governance service provides a definitive legal guide to the Instrument and Articles of Governance, 24 hour access to our team of governance experts and a guide to governors responsibilities, amongst other things.

Read more information on our dedicated governance service page.

Contact us

Diane Gilhooley, Partner

  • Global Head of Employment, Labor and Pensions, and Global Co-Head of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
  • +44 161 831 8151
  • E-mail Diane Gilhooley
Affiliate of Colleges Affiliate Member