Law firm mfg Solicitors has played a key role in helping a new educational academy to open its doors to students for the first time.
Led by partner and corporate expert Sarah Astbury, the firm advised on the recent launch of the Robert Owen Vocational School in Hereford.
The unique new school, which is a not-for-profit co-operative organisation, has now opened its doors with mfg providing wide-ranging advice to ensure the process went smoothly.
Ms Astbury, who fronted the project, oversaw a variety of important elements in the build-up to the school being created – establishing the Academy’s governing and charity documents, as well as leading discussions with the Department of Education and providing training guides for the new Governors.
“It has been really rewarding to be able to work on such a worthy project that will do so much for the future of young people, especially in places like Hereford and Leominster.” she said.
“The school is now providing a flexible and balanced programme of general and vocational education for people aged 14 and over who come from a diverse range of rural backgrounds. It’s a journey we are delighted to have played a part in.
“It was a unique initiative to be involved with and we were able to offer assistance on the Funding Agreement, responsibilities, as well as helping to set up the school’s governing body and a whole host of intricate governance and constitutional agreements.”
Thirty GCSE and A Level students aged between 14 and 19 make up the initial intake of pupils at the school, which plans to facilitate their intellectual, cultural and personal development as well as presenting them with an opportunity for effective vocational work.
Chris Morgan, Secretary of Robert Owen Academies Trust, added: “We are absolutely thrilled with the first-class service we received from Sarah and the team at mfg Solicitors.
“They played an important role in the process of setting up the Robert Owen Vocational School, offering expert advice in several fields, including property and employment law.
“The Robert Owen Vocational School is one of the most exciting opportunities for local parents and their children that this area has seen.
“It provides the chance to be part of a brand new, innovative school. We have high aspirations for all our students and are strongly engaging with the local community and employers.
“We look forward to going from strength to strength and preparing local children for the future.”
The ethos of the Robert Owen Group is built around three core elements: education, training and regeneration. The school also runs teacher training programmes and offers funding to teach skills, such as engineering.
The school is currently in temporary accommodation at the former Holme Lacy Primary School but have plans later this year to move to a permanent, modern building at the former Hereford High School for Boys site in Hereford’s Blackfriars Street.
Builders, architects and on-site project managers are currently working to complete the site ready for the school to move in during September.