A leading law firm has sealed a partnership with a newly-launched education consultancy to enhance services to clients including schools and colleges in the public and private sectors.
Rollits LLP, which has offices in Hull and York, is working with YoungPlus, a consultancy launched by highly experienced education professional Sarah Young.
Together Rollits and YoungPlus will support senior leadership teams and governors with issues including academisation, GDPR, safeguarding and SEND. They expect demand for specialist advice to increase as the sector emerges from the pandemic.
Rollits is recognised in the Legal 500 for its expertise in education, with the 2022 edition of the profession’s most prestigious directory acknowledging the firm’s “excellent responsiveness, professional, comprehensive communications and thorough understanding and awareness of the education sector.”
The education team at Rollits works for some of the most ambitious and innovative institutions in the country including substantial colleges across the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region as well as leading universities, independent schools, academies, sixth form colleges and state schools.
Sarah Young worked in the Hull and East Yorkshire area prior to launching YoungPlus and her roles have included executive head at a through school for pupils aged from three to 19 and director for educational improvement of a multi academy trust.
In addition she worked nationally for the Department for Education as a National Leader of Education, supporting schools in difficulty and pupil referral units.
She said: “YoungPlus is an education consultancy and with my experience and knowledge of the sector working in troubled and successful schools I will focus on the core areas of leadership development, crisis support, project management and sustainable school improvement.
“Rollits have a long history in the education sector and have demonstrated that they are keen to invest in it and in a partnership with me to support the education system for children and young people both now and in the future. There are very few law firms who are interested in pre-empting and supporting school leaders rather than dealing with the fallout of a crisis. It is refreshing that this wider moral purpose extends beyond the existing client base that Rollits have to encompass those who are simply keen to learn”
Partner Caroline Hardcastle, who heads the firm’s education team said: “Sarah brings a great depth of knowledge which will be helpful to our clients. She will be able to add something more to the work we do with clients such as external reviews and looking at the quality of education that’s being provided, especially around key issues involving SEND, Safeguarding and compliance with the Equality Act.
“Sarah has huge experience in the education sector. She started out as a teacher and worked her way up through the system taking on various roles and therefore understands exactly how the advice which we give to clients will be put into practice.”
John Flanagan, a Partner in the corporate team at Rollits and a lead member of the sector team, added: “Our partnership with Sarah will help us to provide a wider range of advice and support to clients in this sector. Sarah’s experience is second to none and her values align with those we have at Rollits. We want to be as useful and helpful to clients as it is possible to be, and not just there when things go wrong.
“We are working with Sarah on a number of academisations, Sarah can advise on what the process will actually mean for the schools and the governors because she has led organisations through it many times, and we have handled it many times from the legal perspective.”