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About: A guide to using the Gold School Support Service

Thank you for signing up to the School Support Service. We welcome your instruction and feedback on how we can improve our service to you.

The Gold Service works on the basis that the retainer will cover all routine enquiries, typically discrete enquiries that can be dealt with within an hour or so. This will include advice by telephone and email, as well as reviewing straightforward documents and correspondence and drafting initial letters and occasionally agreements. We have developed a number of toolkits now and these are also available so that schools can help themselves. The fundamental purpose of the retainer is to provide a legal check of any course of action and advise on strategy to allow you to move forward with confidence.

Where an enquiry or instruction suggests more extensive support will be required or a substantial project is involved, e.g. retendering a contract, granting a lease or selling property, responding to a Tribunal claim, changing admissions, reviewing a set of policies, dealing with a vexatious complaint, agreeing a settlement, carrying out a workplace investigation or significant restructuring then we would expect to agree a scope of work and appropriate additional charge. This would be a bespoke instruction and would be charged at discounted hourly rates.

A fuller breakdown of the typical areas we advise on can be found here.

It can sometimes be difficult to identify these enquiries at the outset as situations escalate or your team may need more support than at first envisaged. My team are used to making an assessment and we try as much as possible as early as possible to identify a bespoke instruction so that we can be clear at an early stage whether a matter is bespoke and you will need extra support. We will try to have a conversation about what support is needed and we will do our best to identify options for the way forward so that your team can plan and budget effectively.

We also monitor usage of the service so that we can assess whether clients are getting value for money. We may be a bit less quick to go bespoke for infrequent users for example. For frequent users, we will try to identify trends and areas where we can say provide a dedicated toolkit to help manage need, or training to plug any skills or knowledge gaps.

In our experience, the service works best when there is a good relationship between my team and yours so we can have a frank and honest conversation when needed. Our aim is to support you when you need it. If you think it’s likely a bespoke retainer is needed with perhaps a greater degree of upfront rather than occasional bespoke support, I would be happy to discuss this.