Independent Schools

As leading specialists in the education sector, we have a proven track record 50 years of providing legal support to independent schools. Our dedicated solicitors understand the way in which independent schools work and are familiar with regulation and compliance in the sector.

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Independent Schools Lawyers discussing a matter

Trusted experts

We are trusted to advise and support a large number of independent schools, and work closely with key sector organisations such as the Independent Schools Council, the Independent Schools Bursars’ Association, the Boarding Schools Association and the Independent Association of Prep Schools.

We regularly speak at national conferences on a wide range of matters including strategic advice for the sector, sensitive parent and pupil matters, employment issues, commercial and corporate support and international advice. We produce sector-specific guidance notes for the ISC and the ISBA which have been endorsed and distributed by those organisations to independent schools nationwide.

It’s as a result of this expertise that we’re one of only a small number of firms to be nationally recognised by the legal directories for the work we do in the education sector.

Advising the ISBA

We advise the ISBA and provide a template Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and regulatory checklist for the independent sector in England. The project was extremely significant for the ISBA and the sector as a whole, taking some time to come to fruition. Our Head of Education, Kristine Scott, led the legal team working on the policy and checklist, to ensure the templates met regulatory requirements.

The end result is a landmark document that enables independent schools to ensure their policy is compliant with statutory guidance issued by the Department for Education and the ISSRs. It’s testament to our prominence within the sector that we were selected to play such a pivotal role in its development.

Legal updates and thought leadership

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Hear what clients say about us

The relationship with us goes back a long way, and the service HCR provides in the more ‘traditional’ areas such as employment and education remains first-rate. But what has been especially pleasing is the way that, as our ambitions and vision have broadened, so too has HCR’s ability to support us on our journey. Of course I’m thinking in particular about our international plans and discussions – it’s no exaggeration to say that we couldn’t have come as far as we have without your tremendous support, expertise and sage advice. Thanks.


Client An Independent School

The team at Harrison Clark Rickerbys helped Farlington School in so many ways. They provided us with excellent legal and technical advice regarding the sale of our school, but they went beyond that. When our school first recognised that it needed to take action to preserve its future, Kate was able to set out our options clearly and then ultimately find us a number of potential partners to purchase our school. She went on to advise us on the different offers made, which enabled us to choose the best purchaser. HCR introduced us to our ultimate purchaser, an established world-class group of schools, Bellevue Education, who were aligned with our own high standards. Kate’s team then negotiated a deal structure which provided the best possible outcome for the charity and the school.

HCR go far beyond being normal legal advisors with the ongoing support they provide, any day of the week and at any time of the day. They built a strong bond with our school’s management team and worked with us to get the best for our school and its pupils. We are delighted with how things have turned out. If any other schools are in a similar situation we would definitely advise them to use HCR.

Sue Mitchell Chair of Governors

HCR were appointed to act as our advisors in what appeared to be a straightforward transaction. Having asked around, their name kept coming up as real experts in the education market, a particularly lively place just now.

They found a solution to enable us to do the right thing by the school. It wasn’t just an excellent technical solution. What really impressed me was that they have all the bases covered, and they developed a nose for how we work and fitted in perfectly. The governors didn’t get everything right first time, but thanks to HCR, we did finish up in the right place. Invaluable.

Client Independent Girls School

Yesterday’s training was excellent and really useful. Thank you very much for organising such a worthwhile day.” The day is one of our most popular events and gives delegates an update on topics such as employment law, safeguarding and data protection law.

Client Independent School

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