Burness Paull is committed to providing high-quality legal services to meet the needs of the diverse education sector across Scotland.

Further and higher education institutions operate in the public sector and private sector, and as charitable bodies.

There are over 100 independent schools operating across Scotland, many of whom are registered charities, educating around 30,000 pupils and making an important contribution to the Scottish economy.

This cross-cutting environment gives rise to a range of complex legal issues and challenges, arising from developments in the law to changes in government policy, constitutional arrangements and national and global issues.

Our team of education lawyers has a wealth of experience providing support to a wide range of bodies operating in education, including higher education institutions, further education colleges, schools and commercial education providers.

We offer highly-responsive legal services, combining quality with best value.

This includes supporting the aims and ambitions of clients through our international reach via legal network partnerships across the globe.

Colleges, universities and other higher education institutions play a key role in delivering post-16 education in all its forms and are of key economic and social importance, locally, nationally and globally.

Education will be a key driver in securing economic growth and recovery in Scotland, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Education providers have been hit hard by the global pandemic, but they have retained capacity, continued to deliver education, skills and training, and continued their research work in the face of the many challenges presented and they will bounce back.

Burness Paull provides legal advice, representation and training to support the ambitions of those education institution operating across the post-16 sector, to help them achieve their agreed outcomes, objectives and full potential.

We understand the unique nature of each and every academic institution in Scotland, their governance and funding arrangements, their strengths and the challenges they face as a result of the wider environment in which they operate.

Areas of higher education law expertise include:

  • Regulatory and public law
  • Corporate governance
  • Education law
  • FOI/Data protection
  • Student support services and student unions
  • Intellectual property
  • International collaboration
  • IT and technology law
  • Commercialisation/Spin-outs
  • Knowledge transfer partnerships
  • Research agreements
  • Charity law
  • Student disciplinary matters and misconduct
  • Academic freedom and conduct issues
  • Health and safety
  • HR, employment law and pensions
  • Equality law, widening access and inclusion
  • Property and estates including student accommodation
  • Immigration and visas
  • Professional regulation
  • Licensing
  • Procurement and contracts
  • Debt recovery and other litigation
  • Reputation management
  • Force majeure, resilience and contingency planning
  • Mergers, restructuring and closures

Independent schools play a significant role in educating around 30,000 children across Scotland.

Burness Paull’s education lawyers have years of experience in giving pragmatic and informed legal advice to independent schools across the full range of their operations - ensuring they can deliver education effectively to the satisfaction of parents and children.

Independent schools are thriving communities with many people playing a key role in achieving success. We understand the culture of independent school clients and the different pressures and challenges they face, in changing times.

Our education law team can advise you on a range of areas, being responsive to the needs of the independent education sector, delivering our services 24/7, providing briefings with updates on key areas of law and delivering tailored training to meet the needs of schools.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Education law
  • The Parent Contract and school fees
  • Charity law and taxation
  • Corporate governance
  • Property law and estate management
  • Employment law and pensions
  • Regulatory compliance and development of policies and procedures
  • Data protection law and access to pupil records
  • Child law and safeguarding
  • Dispute resolution and student appeals