Advanced Diploma in Law and Education

Page last updated: Friday, April 12, 2024


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 everyone involved in education in Ireland are familiar with this legal matrix.

This course 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 Advanced Diploma, participants 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.


This Advanced Diploma attracts principals, all teachers working in both primary and secondary education, home school liaison officers, bursars, people involved in school management, social care workers, education policymakers, inspectors and regulators, and legal practitioners.

Having a diverse group of professionals studying this course together allows participants to learn from each other, especially during tutorials and Q&A sessions. 

“An absolutely fantastic course – I have recommended it to others. Excellent practical content delivered in a clear, concise and logical manner by highly–qualified and experienced legal professionals in a very time–efficient manner. Without doubt the best CPD I have taken part in over a 30–year career in education.”



The designers and lead lecturers of the course are barristers Dr Claire O’Connor BL and Dr Claire Hogan BL.

A former teacher, Claire O’Connor specialises in children and education law. Claire Hogan specialises in constitutional, data protection, regulatory and European law.


This course takes place 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 online live only.

The course takes place over four weekends, from September to April, with live tutorials and lectures on Friday evenings (5 pm to 8.30 pm) and Saturdays (9.30 am to approx. 3.30 pm).

Course Start Date: Friday, September 22, 2023

Classes are recorded using eLearning software and made available to students for streaming via our Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle). This means that, while all students are welcome to attend class online live via Zoom, 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 to read through our Virtual Learning Environment. Online tutorials and IT support are available to help students navigate their way through our library and legal resource databases.

King’s Inns is built on networking and engagement. Over the year, we invite students to attend and participate in various social events, fireside chats and talks. Events take place either online or in–person. All of this contributes to the learning experience that is King’s Inns.

Course Content

MODULE 1: Introduction to the Legal System and Stakeholders in Education – 22 and 23 September 2023

  • Introduction to the course (live session, not recorded)
  • Introduction to the Irish legal system (live session, recorded)
  • Key stakeholders in education (live session, recorded)
  • Tutorial 1 (live session, not recorded)

MODULE 2: Law of School Management – 17 and 18 November 2023

  • Law of school management (live session, recorded)
  • Data protection (live session, recorded)
  • Enrolment, discipline and section 29 appeal (live session, recorded)
  • Negligence and occupiers’ liability in schools (live session, recorded)
  • Tutorial 2 (live session, not recorded)

MODULE 3: Children’s Rights – 26 and 27 January 2024

  • Introduction to family law (live session, recorded)
  • Child welfare: the paramount concern (live session, recorded)
  • The rights of a child with a disability / special needs (live session, recorded)
  • Religion in the classroom (live session, recorded)
  • Tutorial 3 (live session, not recorded)

MODULE 4: Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers – 12 and 13 April 2024

  • Overview of employment law issues in schools (live session, recorded)
  • The regulation of teachers (live session, recorded)
  • Anatomy of a case – Stokes v Christian Brothers High School, Clonmel (live session, recorded)
  • Tutorial 3 (live session, not recorded)

Please note the course content is subject to change in accordance with new developments in this area. 

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


This is a professional development course and it is accredited independently by The Honorable Society of King’s Inns. The skills and competence gained in studying at King’s Inns are transferable, portable and recognised internationally. It is a valuable qualification delivered by distinguished lawyers, members of the judiciary, legal and other practitioners specialising in legal education.

To be awarded the Advanced Diploma, a participant is required to successfully complete two assessments, to be completed on an individual basis.

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

Both assessments have a word limit of 3,000 words. 

Participants will also be asked to take part in group work and presentations during the course: this work will not count towards the assessment but it is an important part of the course.


  • Course fee: €2,550. 
  • You should view the fee structure, payment terms, and other charges here >

Barrister–at–Law graduates who are subscribing members to King’s Inns receive a 10% discount on this course. You must receive your discount code before applying. View more information here >


There are no admission requirements for this course. A place on the highly sought–after course is not secured until the tuition fee is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.


Application Deadline: Midnight (Irish time) on Thursday, September 14, 2023

  • In order to verify your personal details, you must first create an account on the Application Portal through the ‘register and apply here’ button below. Once you verify your email address in the Portal, you can then proceed with your application. 
  • The application process is very short and your place on the course will not be secured until payment is received in full. Once payment is received, you are automatically accepted on the course.
  • Payment can be made through the Application Portal using your credit or debit card (please make sure your bank allows you to process the full payment in one go), or 
  • If your employer is paying for your studies, you will require a valid PO number in advance of making the application, 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. The participant will also be able to download a copy of the invoice through the Application Portal. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their employer has paid in full within the timeframe required in order to secure a place. King’s Inns cannot contact your employer for payment, we can only liaise with the applicant.
  • An automated payment receipt will be generated confirming your place on the course.
  • Subscribing members: You must apply your discount code upon application. It cannot be applied after the application is made. 

Register and apply here >

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Law and Education Graduate 2023

“A colleague recommended the course to me while we were discussing professional development. I wanted to challenge myself while gaining practical knowledge to assist me in my role. The course was delivered online, which suited me as a parent working full–time. The lectures were enjoyable, clear and informative. I particularly enjoyed learning about The Constitution and case law.”

Class of 2022–2023

Law and Education Graduate 2021

“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 educational contexts. The organisation of the course makes it easy in busy work schedules, and the technology supporting the programme is accessible and easy to navigate without the need to be a technology guru!”

Class of 2020–2021