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Ofsted is set to create its first in-house legal team and is appointing a head of legal services to oversee the process.
The schools inspection agency has never employed an in-house lawyer, having previously relied on the Treasury Solicitors for legal advice.
The new head of legal services will reported directly to members of the executive committee and will be responsible for appointing external advisers.
In 2005, the Treasury Solicitor's Office set up a panel specifically for Ofsted, which included Anthony Collins Solicitors, Bevan Britan, Borneo Linnells, Field Fisher Waterhouse, Jones Myers Partnership and Sternberg Reed Taylor & Gill.
Previously, Ofsted used a panel of firms divided by region. Leeds-based Lupton Fawcett, Newcastle-based Dickinson Dees and Colchester firm Birkett Long were all appointed as regional advisers.
Ofsted is responsible for the regulation and inspection of all schools, colleges, local authority children's services and day care centres.
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