Advanced Diploma in Law and Education

NOTE: applications closed for 2018–2019

Course available via distance / blended learning.

Starting in September 2018, 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: Friday 28 September 2018

Application Deadline: Friday 21 September 2018 at 9am – distance / blended learning applications only

PROGRAMME MODULES

  • 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 – Friday 28 and Saturday 29 September 2018

Friday 28 September 2018 (4.30pm) – registration for students attending lectures in person

Friday 28 September 2018

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
  • Legislation
  • EU Law
  • The Status of International Law in Ireland
  • The European Convention on Human Rights

Saturday 29 September

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 – Friday 23 and Saturday 24 November 2018

Friday 23 November 2018

6pm–7.15pm – David Ruddy BL: Law of School Management including:

  • Law of School Management:
  • Management Structure of Schools
  • Supervision and Substitution
  • Deployment of Staff
  • Standardisation of the School Year
  • School Attendance
  • Function 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

Saturday 24 November 2018

9.30am–11am – James Kane BL: Enrolment, Discipline and Section 29 Appeals including:

  • Role of the Board of Management
  • Enrolment Policy and Decisions
  • School Discipline – section 24 Education Welfare Act 2000
  • Section 29 Appeals
  • The Role of the Courts in Enrolment and Disciplinary Actions

11am–11.30am: break

11.30am–1pm – Dr Claire O’Connor BL: Negligence and Occupiers’ Liability in Schools

  • The Duty and Standard of Care
  • The Concept of the Prudent and Reasonable Parent
  • Avoiding Litigation by Engagement with Planning and Policies
  • Managing Risks in Schools
  • Assessments and Safety Statements
  • Minimising Liability under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1995

1pm–2pm: lunch break

2pm–3.30pm: Small group/tutorial 2


3. CHILDREN’S RIGHTS – Friday 25 and Saturday 26 January 2019

Friday 25 January 2019

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:

  • International Promotion of the Rights of the Child
  • The Constitution and the Rights of the Child
  • Children 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
  • Garda Vetting

Saturday 26 January 2019

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 Disability
  • 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 – Friday 12 and Saturday 13 April 2019

Friday 12 April 2019

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

Saturday 13 April 2019

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

LEARNING OUTCOMES

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.

TEACHING HOURS

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

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.

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

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. 

Lecturers include:

  • Nuala Butler SC
  • Tom Mallon BL
  • Dympna Glendenning BL
  • David Ruddy BL
  • Louise Beirne BL
  • James Kane BL
  • TBC

Mary Brady

“The Advanced Diploma in Law and Education offered by Kings Inns is a necessary tool for any person involved in management in education in Ireland today. This course has equipped me with the knowledge and skills to deal with many issues in a confident and informed manner. The study of the modules in this course develops a deep understanding of the contemporary challenges for school management, informs of legal obligations, provides an opportunity to study relevant case law, and provides a solid foundation for best practice and robust policy formation.” (Class of 2017–2018)

Mary Brady, Primary School Principal

Mary Jo Delaney

“I would strongly recommend the Diploma in Law and Education at the Kings Inns for a number of reasons. The course content was detailed, very informative and focused for all levels of the professional spectrum in Education. The delivery of the content by inhouse and guest lecturers was very engaging, helping place the connectivity of Law and Education firmly in the everyday practice of a school. Finally, the structure of the course across four different weekends and the online resources, meant it was very manageable while working full time.” (Class 2017–2018)

Mary Jo Delaney, Teacher