David Whittington

David Whittington

Education Adviser
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David Whittington

Education Adviser

David is an adviser in Education law as part of the Education, Ecclesiastical and Charity team at LBMW. He works with colleagues here advising clients on all aspects of the law as it affects schools, with a particular in-depth knowledge of the relevant statutory processes and of school site issues

David advises the full range of our diocesan and schools clients. He is also one of the group at LBMW who advise the Church of England nationally on the legal aspects of education matters. He was deeply involved in the creation of the church model documents for academies in 2010 and in their subsequent revision and is the major contributer of articles to LBMW's "Education Answers" bank of standard guidance and information. The interaction between the Education Acts, the Charities Act and 19th century legislation respecting school sites is a day to day matter for David.


David is not a solicitor but for more than 20 years has been immersed in the detail of Education Law, including being closely involved in the development of primary legislation, regulations and guidance during much of that period. As a Church of England parish priest he chaired the governing body of a large church secondary school for some 20 years, and brings to his work a wide practical experience in respect of education property and procedures. He can usually find a way through! Some of his recent career highlights include:

  • Acting for several Church in Wales Dioceses and advising the Church in Wales on the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act as it passed through the Welsh Assembly;
  • Acting for the Church of England nationally advising on relevant recent Education Acts, draft regulations and statutory guidance;
  • Advising dioceses in both England and Wales on complete reviews of their education trust assets;
  • Advising on instructions to Counsel in respect of Judicial Review, Court of Appeal and most recently an imminent Supreme Court hearing.

Career to date

David joined LBMW in 2008, following his retirement as Head of School Development for the Church of England. He had previously been Director Education for the diocese of Durham and a canon residentiary of Durham Cathedral. Before that he had been a parish priest and an Oxford college chaplain (with teaching commitments in the faculties of Music and Theology). He holds Oxford degrees in Music and Theology and was appointed an OBE in 2001.

'David Whittington has been with the firm for many years, and his knowledge and understanding of the church school system is second-to-none. He understands and can explain clearly not only the legislation, but also the spirit and intent of it. His encyclopedic knowledge and network of connections is a great asset to the firm. Uniquely, perhaps, David has also sat in his clients’ shoes and understands the realities and complexities of managing a church school estate.'

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