Advanced Diploma in Law and Education

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 11, 2021


Many laws impact the day–to–day running of schools, from admissions policies, to liability for negligence, to the place of religion in the classroom. In the modern educational environment, it is essential that principals, assistant principals, home school liaisons, teachers of all levels and those in management positions are familiar with this legal matrix. This diploma will provide participants with a comprehensive practical knowledge of the law as it relates to the provision of education in Ireland.


This course will provide a comprehensive overview of law and education, with a focus on both domestic and European law in the area.

On completion of the Diploma, students should be better able to:

  1. examine the legal framework in which education is carried out and consider its implication for school practice;
  2. identify legislation pertinent to schools and evaluate its effect on practice;
  3. describe and explain the current legal issues affecting schools;
  4. describe and explain key principles of Education Law and the legislation, case law and constitutional provisions on which these principles are based;
  5. differentiate between different causes of action against schools;
  6. identify legal and practical issues arising in the context of a factual scenario involving schools and litigation;
  7. apply Education Law to a variety of factual scenarios.


The course will be suitable for: principals, assistant principals, teachers working in both primary and secondary education, home school liaisons, bursars, persons involved in school management, and anyone involved in school–level education in Ireland.


The coordinators of the course are Dr Claire O’Connor BL and Dr Claire Hogan BL.


This course will be delivered in a fully online format only, live via Zoom, with recordings of lectures available after class is over. Interactive elements such as class discussions / tutorials will not be recorded and will be cast live only. There will be no attendance in person at King’s Inns for class, though we hope to be able to host an event for students later in the course, public health regulations permitting.

Delivery is in part–time mode through the medium of lectures and seminars, presented by leading experts in the area. The course will take place over four weekends with live tutorials and lectures on Friday evenings 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm and on Saturday from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm approx.

Course Start Date: Friday, 24 September 2021

Classes are recorded using e–learning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment. This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class live, most of the sessions will be recorded so that students who are unable to attend can catch up on the material by streaming the video in their own time.

All class notes are available online before lectures take place. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our Library and legal resource databases.

Please note the course content is subject to change. 

Course Content

MODULE 1: Introduction to the Legal System and Stakeholders in Education – 24 and 25 September 2021

  • Introduction to the course (live online session)
  • Introduction to the Irish Legal System (recorded)
  • Key Stakeholders in Education (recorded)
  • Tutorial 1 (live online session, not recorded)

MODULE 2: Law of School Management – 19 and 20 November 2021

  • Law of School Management (recorded)
  • Data Protection (recorded)
  • Enrolment, Discipline and Section 29 Appeal (recorded)
  • Negligence and Occupiers’ Liability in Schools (recorded)
  • Tutorial 2 (live online session, not recorded)

MODULE 3: Children’s Rights – 28 and 29 January 2022

  • Introduction to Family Law (recorded)
  • Child Welfare: The Paramount Concern (recorded)
  • The Rights of a Child with a Disability / Special Needs (recorded)
  • Religion in the Classroom (recorded)
  • Tutorial 3 (live online session, not recorded)

MODULE 4: Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers – 22 and 23 April 2022

  • Overview of Employment Law Issues in Schools (recorded)
  • The Regulation of Teachers (recorded) 
  • Anatomy of a Case – Stokes v Christian Brothers high School Clonmel (recorded)
  • Tutorial 3 (live online session, not recorded)

Previous Speakers

The course is delivered by leading experts in the field. In addition to the course coordinators, previous speakers on the course have included:

  • The Hon. Ms Justice Nuala Butler
  • Catherine Ghent, Gallagher Shatter Solicitors
  • Dr David Fennelly BL
  • Dr David Ruddy BL
  • Dr Dympna Glendenning BL
  • James Kane BL
  • Louise Beirne BL
  • Tom Mallon BL


This is a professional development course. It is awarded independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns and delivered by seasoned, highly experienced practitioners. To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is required to successfully complete two take home assignments, to be completed on an individual basis.

  1. Assignment 1 will be given out at the end of Module 2 and will be worth 40% of the marks;
  2. Assignment 2 will be given out at the end of Modular 4 and will be worth 60% of the marks for the course.

The first assignment will have a word limit of 2,500 and the second will also have a word limit of 2,500.

COURSE FEE 2021–2022

Course fee: €2,550. View fee structure and other charges here.

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. View more information here.


There are no admission requirements for this course. 

Application Deadline: Sunday, 12 September 2021

In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application. 

The process is very short and your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. Payment can be made through the application portal using your credit or debit card. An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.

If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a PO number, the name and email address for the person responsible for payment in your organisation. The invoice will issue directly to the person whose details you enter. You will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the application portal.

Register and apply here

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Joan Kennedy

“Having completed the diploma I am now aware of the many (many…) acts that affect education and children. We can’t be experts in it, that’s not the role of the diploma, but I am confident now around the law that supports us in our work and where to go for more guidance should I need it. I would absolutely recommend it for anyone working in a school environment, regardless of the capacity in which you do so, teachers, admin, finance, principals, boards, etc. You won’t regret it. Thank you to the King’s Inns staff who were so supportive all the way through.” (Class of 2020–2021)

Joan Kennedy, Finance Manager/Bursar

Professor Emer Ring

“The discussions during the allocated weekends on the programme have been extremely constructive and interesting, while also providing an opportunity to apply legal concepts in real–world contexts that arise every day for those of us who work in education contexts. The variety of backgrounds students come from on the programme further enhances the learning opportunities during these discussions, where everyone generously shares their own experiences and perspectives…The organisation of the course makes it easy in the context of busy work schedules and the technology supporting the programme is accessible and very easy to navigate without the need to be a technology guru!” (Class of 2020–2021)

Professor Emer Ring, Dean of Education, Mary Immaculate College