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Bridgend schools’ pilot innovative legal services scheme

Fifty-six of Bridgend County Borough’s 59 schools have signed up to a new collaborative way of accessing legal services, the first of its kind for the education sector in Wales.

As part of the group, Bridgend schools will have access to a dedicated, single legal provider – Cardiff-based firm Capital Law – which will assist the schools with any legal challenges they may face.

By providing a legal services hotline to the schools, as well as collating and sharing legal updates and responses to any questions asked, Capital Law will be able to distribute legal advice on a range of topics to all schools that are signed up to the scheme.

Bridgend schools can benefit from any advice that the others request and receive. If one school needs legal advice on its teacher contracts, or on building a new site, for example, Capital Law will respond to that, and then go on to share that advice among all the other schools in the group.

Because Capital has a dedicated education law team that specialises in working with schools, as well as further and higher education institutes, its advice will cover the whole range of legal services that education organisations need to keep running. This will include advice on employment law, like contracts, grievances, disciplinaries, and immigration; real estate transactions, like buying or selling any school land; regulatory and public law, including data protection and GDPR; and commercial disputes.

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Capital Law will also work behind the scenes to identify common themes and questions among the schools – on topics like GDPR, data protection, or handling grievances – and develop bespoke training sessions that all schools will be able to attend.

Helen Rowland, Associate at Capital Law, said:

“We are looking forward to working with Bridgend schools not only on the challenges they currently face but pre-empting future challenges and preparing them for what they may face in a constantly evolving environment.”

Lindsay Harvey, Corporate Director of Education and Family Support for Bridgend County Borough Council, said, ‘This is a really exciting new model – and it’s fantastic that, as a Wales-first, it’s taking place in Bridgend. We’ve got some brilliant schools in the area, and to be able to group together and access legal services in such an innovative way will be transformative for Bridgend County Borough schools.’

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