Coodes helps academy conversion

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Autumn term offers a fresh start for all schools, but for pupils and staff at Ludgvan it’s a chance to celebrate new-found independence.

With the help of Cornish law firm Coodes Solicitors, the school has converted to an academy, which means governors and staff can work independently of the local authority.

With just over 150 pupils and 27 staff, Ludgvan School will operate as a charitable trust, meaning it can set its own curriculum, employ its own staff and contract its own services.

Head teacher Helen MacFarlane explained: “Becoming an academy offers us more control over our school, and freedom to make things happen more quickly.

“Coodes helped us through what was a fairly complex process, and through converting to an academy we understand much more about how to run our school.”

Ludgvan is one of two schools in the Penwith area that Coodes has supported through the legal process of becoming an academy.

Its specialist academies team is also working with Private Finance Initiative (PFI) schools and faith schools, for which the legal arrangements can be more complex.

Kirsty McAuley, academies specialist within Coodes’ commercial department, said: “We’re anticipating that more than two thirds of schools will want to convert to an academy under the Government’s Academies Act, because of the freedom and autonomy it offers.

“There are a number of legal negotiations involved in the process, for which we are gaining valuable experience, particularly in more complex cases of PFI and faith schools.”

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