At Stone King, we have a wealth of experience of dealing with property transactions for school clients and navigating the ESFA consent process.
For example, academies will usually enjoy ownership or control of some or all of the school land and buildings, often including unused playing fields and caretaker’s houses. Sometimes, the right thing will be to sell or lease such property in order to obtain some value for an asset that may be a drain on resource. The property that an academy owns is not, though, open to be disposed of at the academy’s will.
In fact, academies need the prior consent of the Secretary of State for most property transactions, including granting a short lease or tenancy to staff. (For the same reason, similar requirements for consent apply to local authority maintained schools.)
Without consent, an academy will be in breach of its funding agreement, which could have serious consequences. In the case of a disposal which is registrable at the Land Registry, the other party in the transaction will be unable to register their interest and the academy may be liable to pay damages for any losses.
For more contact Rob Walton (01225 478176, RobertWalton@stoneking.co.uk) or Chris Sharpe (020 7324 1752, ChrisSharpe@stoneking.co.uk).