Advanced Diploma in Law and Education

Covid–19 Course Changes

All students will have the option of completing the entire course fully through distance learning in the academic year 2020–2021. Course materials and lectures will be available via our accessible Virtual Learning Environment. Students will also have access to a range of online legal databases and resources.

King’s Inns has the capacity to run all classes for the entire academic year using online learning systems if needs be and has invested in technology and training in order to ensure that the student learning experience during 2020–2021 will remain at the highest possible standard, whether teaching takes place online or in person. 


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.


Course Start Date: September 2021.

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.

The course will cover the following topics:

Please note that the schedule below is provisional. Live online tutorials will take place over the weekend of each module.

MODULE 1: Introduction to the Legal System and Stakeholders in Education – 25/26 September 2020

  • 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 – 20/21 November 2020

  • 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)

For Modules 3 and 4, there may be an option to attend in person; regardless, lectures will continue to be recorded and there will be an option to attend an online tutorial rather than an in–person tutorial. Where lectures take place in person, they will run on Friday evening lecture from 6.00pm–8.30pm and on Saturday from 9.30am–3.30pm (approx.).

MODULE 3: Children’s Rights – 29/30 January 2021

  • 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 – 23/24 April 2021

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

Visiting Speakers

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

  • Catherine Ghent, Gallagher Shatter Solicitors
  • Dr David Fennelly BL
  • Dr David Ruddy BL
  • Dr Dympna Glendenning BL
  • James Kane BL
  • Louise Beirne BL
  • Nuala Butler SC
  • Tom Mallon BL


Assessment will be via 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 2020–2021

Course fee: €2,350. View King’s Inns fee structure 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: Applications will open up in April 2021.


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 / debit card. 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.

Receive notification when more information is available


Dr. Mary Kenny

“Effective educational leadership requires an understanding of the relevant legislation. Participants in the Advanced Diploma in Law and Education explore the fundamentals of Irish Law including the Constitution, the statutes, case law and international charters with a view to understanding how they impact upon and inform the rights and obligations of the various stakeholders in education. This Diploma course equips the participants, through professionally delivered lectures and access to support materials, to engage with the law from a more knowledgeable standpoint thus adding considerably to the competence of the individual.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Dr. Mary Kenny, Education Support Officer, KWETB

Kathryn J. Browne

“This course is not only thought–provoking but also extremely exciting. Having the opportunity to talk to leading legal professionals about previous cases, law in our schools and scenarios makes this course both vibrant and beneficial. The depth of knowledge and the level of inquiry undertaken provide a unique learning experience. This course will undoubtedly help my future employment options in education or management.” (Class of 2019–2020)

Kathryn J. Browne, Second Level Teacher