Advanced Diploma in Law and Education
Course available through blended / online distance learning.
This course will provide a comprehensive overview of law and education, with a focus on both domestic and European law in the area.
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,
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.
Delivery will be on a limited number of weekends over the course of one academic year, with classes presented by leading experts. Course participants will take part in large and small group sessions in which the law will be applied directly to classroom practice and school management.
Delivered via blended learning and with most sessions recorded, this course will be accessible to students regardless of their geographical location and attendance in person will be optional for many classes.
Free parking and refreshments will be provided for participants.
Course Start Date: 27 September 2019
Application Deadline: 1st July 2019.
- Introduction to the Legal System and Stakeholders in Education
- The Law of School Management
- Children’s Rights
- The Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers
COURSE CONTENT AND DELIVERY
Lectures will be recorded and students on the course will be able to stream these recordings at a time of their choosing, provided they have an Internet connection.
1. INTRODUCTION TO THE LEGAL SYSTEM AND STAKEHOLDERS IN EDUCATION – 27th/28th September 2019
27th September 2019 – registration for students attending lectures in person
6pm–8pm – Dr Claire Hogan BL: Introduction to the Irish Legal System including:
- Public Law v Private Law
- The Separation of Powers
- Explaining the Hierarchy of Legal Norms
- The Irish Constitution
- Case law and the Concept of Precedent
- EU Law
- The Status of International Law in Ireland
- The European Convention on Human Rights
9.30am–1pm – Dr Claire O’Connor BL:Key Stakeholders in Education including:
- Doctrine of Constitutional Interpretation
- The Role of the Department of Education and Skills
- Autonomy of the Board of Management
- Statutory Function of the Principal
- The Role of the Parent
- Schools and Patronage
- Balancing the Key Stakeholders
1pm–2pm: Lunch break
2pm–3.30pm: Small group session/tutorial 1
2. LAW OF SCHOOL MANAGEMENT – 22nd/23rd November 2019
6pm–7.15pm – David Ruddy BL: Law of School Management including:
of School Management:
Structure of Schools
of the School Year
of Department of Education and Skills Circulars
7.15pm–8.30pm – Dr Catherine Donnelly BL:Data Protection
- Overview of Data Protection issues relating to schools
9.30am–11am – James Kane BL: Enrolment, Discipline and Section 29 Appeals including:
of the Board of Management
Policy and Decisions
Discipline – section 24 Education Welfare Act 2000
Role of the Courts in Enrolment and Disciplinary Actions
11.30am–1pm – Dr Claire O’Connor BL: Negligence and Occupiers’ Liability in Schools
Duty and Standard of Care
Concept of the Prudent and Reasonable Parent
Litigation by Engagement with Planning and Policies
Risks in Schools
and Safety Statements
Liability under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995
1pm–2pm: lunch break
2pm–3.30pm: Small group/tutorial 2
3. CHILDREN’S RIGHTS – 31st Jan/1st Feb 2020
6pm–6.45pm – Dr Claire Hogan BL: Introduction to Family Law, including:
- The Concept of Guardianship
- Different Family Forms
- Impact of the Breakdown of Parental Relationship
- Disputes in Decision–making between Parents
- Involvement of Schools in Family Law Proceedings
7.00pm–8.30pm – Catherine Ghent, Partner, Gallagher Shatter Solicitors: Child Welfare: The Paramount Concern, including:
Promotion of the Rights of the Child
Constitution and the Rights of the Child
First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children
(2011)and the Children First Act 2015
- The Criminal Justice (Withholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012
9.30am–11am – Dr Dympna Glendenning BL: The Rights of a Child with a Disability / Special Needs, including:
- UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- Key Constitutional and Legislative Principles concerning
- Landmark cases: O’Donoghue and Sinnott
- The role of the SNA
- The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004
- The Disability Act 2005
11am–11.30am – break
11.30am–1pm – Dr Claire Hogan BL: Religion in the Classroom, including:
- International Human Rights Law; UN and ECHR Case Law
- Relevant Constitutional and Legislative Provisions
- School Ethos
- Admissions Policies
- Religious Symbols
1pm–2pm – lunch break
2pm–3.30pm – Small group session/tutorial 3
4. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF TEACHERS – 3rd/4th April 2020
6pm–8.30pm – Tom Mallon BL: Overview of Employment Law Issues in Schools, including:
- Key Employment Legislation
- Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act . 2005
- Employment Equality Acts 1998–2015
- Major Cases involving Teachers
9.30am–11am – Louise Beirne BL: The Regulation of Teachers, including:
- Teaching Council Act, 2001 Commencement of Part V of the Teaching Council Act 2001
- Grounds for Complaint
- Investigation of Compliant
- Fitness to Practice Inquiries
- Role of the High Court
11am–11.30am – break
11.30–1pm – Nuala Butler SC: Anatomy of a Case – Stokes v Christian Brothers high School Clonmel
- The Factual Background
- The Main Legal Issues in the Case
- Arguments Advanced by Parties
- The Role of School Policy in the Litigation
- Reasoning of the Court
- Results of the Case
- Future implications of this Case
- Brief Overview of Subsequent Case Law (if appropriate)
1pm–2pm – lunch break
2–3.30pm – Small group session/tutorial 3
On completion of the course, students should be better able to:
- examine the legal framework in which education is carried out and consider its implication for school practice
- identify legislation pertinent to schools and evaluate its effect on practice
- describe and explain the current legal issues affecting schools
- describe and explain key principles of Education Law and the legislation, case law and constitutional provisions on which these principles are based
- differentiate between different causes of action against schools
- identify legal and practical issues arising in the context of a factual scenario involving schools and litigation
- apply Education Law to a variety of factual scenarios.
Classes will take place at King’s Inns from 6.00pm–8.30pm on each of the above Friday evenings and from 9.30am–3.30pm (approx.) on each of the above Saturdays.
Students on the course will attend large group sessions / lectures on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, and small group sessions / tutorials on Saturday afternoons.
All large group sessions will be recorded for the benefit of distance learners.
Assessment will be via two take home assignments, to be completed on an individual basis;
- Assignment 1 will be given out at the end of Module 2 and will be worth 40% of the marks;
- 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.
Students will also be asked to take part in group work and presentations during the course; this work will not count towards the assessment but is an important part of the course.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
The course will be suitable for: principals, assistant principals, bursars and teachers working in both primary and secondary education; persons involved in school management;
anyone involved in school–level education in Ireland.
Fees can be viewed here.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications are made here.
LEAD LECTURERS / COURSE DIRECTORS
The coordinators of the course are Dr. Claire O’Connor BL and Dr. Claire Hogan BL.
- Nuala Butler SC
- Tom Mallon BL
- Dympna Glendenning BL
- David Ruddy BL
- Louise Beirne BL
- James Kane BL
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TESTIMONIALS FROM PAST STUDENTS