Apprenticeships, skills training and education are exciting ways to help people fulfil their potential and for employers to develop talent and create new opportunities in the workplace. But the regulatory and funding framework is highly complex and, for some in the industry, fraught with uncertainty and problems.
Serious difficulties can arise if decisions are hastily or poorly made by bodies like the ESFA and OFSTED. Decision-making by accreditation bodies can also prove difficult, both for training providers and such bodies themselves. Funding decisions can also have huge, long-lasting consequences for training bodies, schools and other education providers alike.
Bindmans LLP has a nationally-renowned Public Law team with a well-developed specialism in apprenticeship, skills training and education contexts.
We advise proactively to avoid problems ever arising and intervene effectively to resolve disputes. Sometimes a deadlock can be broken with a carefully drafted letter. If legal action is unavoidable, we can and will act decisively.
Our experience includes:
- Advising on ESFA investigations and preventing contract termination
- Successfully pursuing ESFA appeals, including against refusal to register providers on the RoATP and removal decisions
- Advice on OFSTED decision-making and representation in challenges to adverse findings and grading (including internal reviews and judicial review litigation)
- Successfully litigating withdrawal of school transport in rural areas
- Representing accreditation and training bodies in disputes over certification
- Creating robust, GDPR-compliant data handling policies and resolving disputes
- Advising on free speech issues in higher education
- Successfully challenging local authority school funding cuts
- Advising on appropriate responses to discrimination, sexual violence and hate speech
- Successfully challenging the outcome of OFSTED inspections and other regulatory processes
- Policy and procedure writing for investigating serious problems
- Advising on safeguarding matters