"Natalie Ruane is an expert in employment law working exclusively in the education sector" - Legal 500, 2020
Natalie is a Partner and Head of Burnetts' Employment and HR team.
Natalie oversees employment law advice given by the team to corporate clients and charities.
Her own specialism is in the education sector and she leads the Education team, which includes dedicated lawyers and HR consultants.
Natalie works closely with head teachers, business managers and governing bodies. She advises on a wide range of HR and employment-related issues, including academy conversions and the establishment of Multi Academy Trusts (MAT).
Examples of Natalie’s recent experience include:
• representing a school at disciplinary and appeal meetings relating to a senior level dismissal on grounds of safeguarding concerns
• advising on a restructures and redundancies
• meeting with regional trade union officials to discuss matters of concern, resulting in much improved relations
• advising on policies and their implementation
• successfully negotiating a solution to a complex grievance against a head teacher and the school’s governors
• securing exit packages for a number of staff in a situation where a personality clash was impacting on a department’s performance to the extent that the school’s Ofsted rating was adversely affected
• advising on senior level recruitment
• conducting due diligence and TUPE advice for a MAT receiving a transfer of staff from a school in special measures, including advising on potential measures to be taken as a result of the transfer
• advising on complaints brought by students and parents against school leaders/senior teachers.
Natalie, who is based in Penrith, has also presented seminars on matters including appraisal regulations and performance related pay, trade union rights and duties, types of school collaboration and governor training.
Having graduated from the University of Bradford with a degree in German and French, Natalie spent two years as a German teacher in northern Sweden, also learning to speak Swedish, before returning to the UK to study law at Chester College of Law. She joined Eversheds in Birmingham in 1999 and, on qualification, joined their Human Resources legal team, where she specialised in pensions and employment law. In 2003, Natalie moved to Cumbria and joined Burnetts.
Natalie has a busy life outside of work, with three children, two horses, some pet rescue hens and a border collie. These keep her busy and encourage her to participate in the occasional glass of wine.