Helen is Head of the Education and Charities Team at Schofield Sweeney. Helen advises schools on becoming an academy with experience of single, multi and umbrella trusts. Helen’s experience includes advising community, foundation, faith and PFI schools through the conversion process. In addition, Helen advises multi academy trusts on acquiring existing academies through re-brokerage arrangements, as well as advising academies who are themselves being transferred to a multi academy trust. Helen attends quarterly meetings with the Department of Education to assist and advise on academy conversion issues and policy decisions. Helen was described as "approachable and calm" in the 2016 Legal 500 directory.
Helen provides day to day legal support to academy trusts and independent schools, many of whom subscribe to Schofield Sweeney’s Just Teach package. This includes providing advice on governance, company secretarial, freedom of information, data protection and public procurement. Helen also advises on school construction projects, including academies procuring their own contractors from the PfS Contractors’ Framework.
Helen also advises charities on governance queries and restructures matters, often involving the Charity Commission.
Helen joined Schofield Sweeney in January 2012, having trained and practised in different local authorities for the previous five years. Helen gained a solid grounding in public law during her training and which she draws upon when advising schools. During her time working for local authorities Helen advised on projects in the education, housing, and waste sectors, including delivering a number of Building Schools for the Future schemes.
Helen is a governor of a community primary school in Harrogate.