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Emma Swann, Partner, Head of Academies


Direct Dial: 03301 075 973
Mobile: 07773 937 401

A bit about me

I have a long-standing specialism in education law, an area which is constantly evolving. Because I’m part of the Department for Education’s academies working group and have excellent contacts within the sector, I can keep clients up to date with prospective changes and make sure that I help them to come up with practical and commercial solutions.

I’ve worked with a wide range of schools, supporting them through academy conversions and expansions and helping with issues such as admission appeals, exclusions, safeguarding, parental complaints and governance. I also have extensive experience advising Church of England Diocesan Boards, diocesan multi-academy trusts (MATs) and local schools forming mixed MATs.

Outside work, I love spending time in the countryside with my family – my son especially enjoys feeding lambs and riding on tractors.

Want to know more?

We can prepare a full school policy audit to ensure compliance with education law and best practice.

Your board of trustees should regularly review governance structures – are they working?

Ask questions before taking controversial decisions rather than afterwards!

How do we prepare for GDPR?
Your starting point is a school audit. You should also update your privacy notices and data protection policy.

How do we expand our Multi Academy Trust (MAT)?
Assess the capacity of your MAT to expand (including performance/financial issues). Do due diligence on potential schools that might join your MAT.

How do we deal with a vexatious parent?
Follow school complaints procedure – this should allow communications to be terminated if a parent’s behaviour is unreasonable.

Where I work

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latest articles

Watch Now: Academies Essential Update Webinar

In this webinar you will hear from our panel of expert speakers as they are…

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The relationship between the Church of England and the Department for Education

The relationship between the National Society (the Church of England’s education office) and the Department…

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Summer 2022 exam adaptations

Although to many it may feel that the summer exam period has only just passed,…

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Mandatory off-site schooling: key questions answered

Mandatory off-site schooling, not related to Covid-19 but for other purposes, is the key issue…

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Multi-Academy Trusts (Ofsted Inspection) Bill

On 8 September 2021 the Multi-Academy Trust (Ofsted Inspection) Bill (the “Bill”) went through a…

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Careers guidance: what is expected and the role of the governing body

To help young people prepare for the workplace and gain an understanding of the full…

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Everything you need to know about the Multi-Academy Trust (Ofsted Inspection) Bill

The Multi-Academy Trust (Ofsted Inspection) Bill went through a first reading by the House of…

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What schools need to know about the Government’s consultation on transferring personal data overseas under the UK GDPR

The EU’S data privacy and security law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into…

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What is the role of the head teacher in an exclusion decision?

On many occasions, inappropriate behaviour by pupils at school can be dealt with by way…

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Is your Academy equipped to handle increasing cyber security risks?

Cyber security is increasingly critical for schools and academies as a breach can affect an…

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The essential policies for your academy

The Department for Education (DfE) has updated its guidance note “Statutory policies for schools and…

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Is your academy ready for the new Academy Trust Handbook 2021?

The Department for Education (DfE) has published the Academy Trust Handbook 2021 which will come…

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Faith based admission: will your admission arrangements need to be updated?

In response to the Covid-19 restrictions, the DfE has updated its non-statutory guidance “Coronavirus (COVID19):…

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New scheme to promote Latin for all students

The government is aiming to make the benefits of Latin available more broadly to young…

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Over the horizon – the potential impact on schools of possible reforms to competition and consumer regulation

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a consultation to…

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New guidance on transport to schools from step 4 of lockdown roadmap

The Department for Education (DfE) has published new guidance Dedicated transport to schools and colleges…

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New governance for Diocesan Boards of Education

In April, the new Diocesan Boards of Education Measure 2021 was given Royal Assent. As…

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An overview of academy sponsorship

An academy sponsor is an organisation or an individual approved by the Department for Education…

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Revised school admissions code to apply from 1 September 2021

The Department for Education (DfE) has issued a revised School Admissions Code which will apply…

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Governance Webinar for Academies and Independent Schools

In this webinar, aimed at Academies and Independent Schools, we provided tips and advice on:…

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Department for Education announces plans and guidance for multi-academy trusts

As part of the Education Secretary’s vision for every school to be part of a…

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Assessment processes for selective school admissions

The Department for Education has updated the guidance note “Assessment processes for selective school admissions”…

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The use of transfer of control agreements by schools

A Transfer of Control Agreement (TOCA) is a useful way for a maintained school to…

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Academy requirements for online publishing

The Department for Education has updated its guidance setting out the information which academies should…

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The roles, responsibilities and powers of academy trust members

When considering the roles, responsibilities, and powers of members, it is important to understand that…

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Changes to the pupil exclusion regime in response to Covid-19

The School Discipline (Pupil Exclusions and Reviews) (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) are…

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Further education remote learning practices developed during Covid-19

In March 2020 all further education providers moved their learning online in response to the…

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Brexit, a pandemic, and tips for commercial contracts in 2021

2020 has been an extraordinary year for everyone, managing the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic;…

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Standard contractual clauses for transfers of personal data

The European Commission has published draft standard contractual clauses for transfers of personal data from…

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Implications of the end of the Brexit transition period for schools

2020 has been quite an extraordinary year for the education sector, rising to the challenge…

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CMA Guidance for nurseries and early years providers

The CMA published an open letter to nurseries and early years providers on the 28th…

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Cabinet Office – new guidance on responsible contractual behaviour

New guidance which applies to both private and public sector parties to contracts came into…

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High Court decision – a question of “permanent” address under the School Admissions Code

The High Court has quashed an Admission Appeal Panel's decision and has sent the appeal…

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Academies and maintained schools – how to manage issues related to Covid-19 now schools are re-opening

The Department for Education (DfE) Guidance: Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings The…

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Competition and Markets Authority Briefing Note for Independent Schools and Nurseries

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched the Covid-19 taskforce on 20th March 2020 to…

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Competition and Markets Authority – Covid-19 Taskforce to Investigate Concerns relating to Nurseries and Childcare Providers

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has established a new Covid-19 taskforce to monitor market…

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Welsh Government consultation on charitable rates relief for independent schools

Charitable rates relief The Welsh Government issued a consultation on January 31 2020 on the…

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Trust Capacity Fund

The Department for Education (DfE) has announced that £17m is being allocated to encourage high-performing…

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The Future of Church of England Academies – What comes next?

Church of England Dioceses across the country have played a pivotal role in the academies…

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Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools

The profile of mental health has been raised in the news of late and the…

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New partners boost strong commercial team

The arrival of two new partners has boosted the commercial team across Harrison Clark Rickerbys’…

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