Ward Hadaway picked for school rebuilding programme | 03 July 09

LAW firm Ward Hadaway will help to shape the rebuilding of the country’s schools after winning a place on the legal panel for the organisation delivering the Government’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme.

Ward Hadaway, which has offices in Newcastle and Leeds, is one of only 17 law firms in the UK to be named on the Partnership for Schools’ Legal Advisory Services Framework. It was also one of only 12 firms to feature on the previous legal panel.

The appointment allows the firm to continue to offer comprehensive legal support to education authorities and consortia on all aspects of BSF projects, from initial planning to operational issues.

The arrangement will last for at least two years with the possible extension of another two years.

Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is the largest single schools capital investment programme for over 50 years.

It aims to rebuild or renew England’s state secondary schools estate during the lifetime of the programme.

Ward Hadaway has already advised on a number of BSF schemes in locations including Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool and Nottingham.

The total value of the schemes it has worked on is more than £700m.

On those projects, Ward Hadaway has provided legal advice on a wide range of issues, ranging from agreements with construction companies to contracts covering information communication technology (ICT) provision.

Melanie Pears, partner and head of public sector at Ward Hadaway, said: “This appointment is fantastic news and is a clear endorsement of the high quality of the work which we have been carrying out and the in-depth expertise of the people on our team.

“It has been a real privilege working with our partners in the education sector on these projects, which genuinely transform schools and the quality of education which they can offer to pupils.

“We look forward to working on more BSF schemes in the future and on continuing to help deliver better schools for the country’s children.”

Tim Byles, Chief Executive of Partnership for Schools, said: “The Legal Advisory Services Framework will provide a forum to ensure that good practice is captured and embedded across BSF projects.

“BSF is about much more than simply bricks and mortar, it is an opportunity for schools and local authorities to transform where and how students learn and teachers teach, and to integrate new learning technologies with state-of-the-art buildings and facilities.

“The advisers on the Legal Advisory Services Framework will be able to bring experience and ideas to complement the skills and knowledge within local authority BSF teams to help them plan for, and deliver, truly inspirational schools of the future.”

Ward Hadaway Managing Partner, Jamie Martin, said: “There is no more important investment for the country to make than in the education of future generations and Ward Hadaway is delighted to be playing a part in helping to deliver the BSF programme.”

A total of 80 local authorities are now engaged in the BSF programme, with 20 Local Education Partnerships formed to deliver school building projects in these areas.

Almost 90 schools have now benefited from BSF investment across England.

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