Advanced Diploma in Law and Education

This course will be available via blended learning.

Starting in September 2017, 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 22 September 2017

Application Deadline: We’re opening a waiting list for people who missed the August 11 application deadline for 2017/18. Please fill in the online application form through the link below and we will be in touch.


  • Introduction to the Legal System and Stakeholders in Education
  • The Law of School Management
  • Children’s Rights
  • The Rights and Responsibilities of Teachers


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.


  • The Irish Constitution with particular emphasis on provisions on education
  • The European Convention on Human Rights
  • The Education Act, 1998 (as amended)
  • Case law and precedent
  • Autonomy of the Board of Management
  • Statutory Function of the Principal
  • The role of the Department of Education and Skills
  • Schools and Patronage

2. LAW OF SCHOOL MANAGEMENT – Friday 10 and Saturday 11 November 2017

  • Enrolment Policy and selection process
  • Selection Process
  • Role of the Board of Management
  • Section 29 Appeals
  • Employment Law matters including equality and discrimination in the workplace
  • Supervision and Substitution
  • Disciplinary Procedures
  • Management Structure of Schools
  • Deployment of Staff
  • Standardisation of the School Year
  • Data Protection
  • School Attendance
  • Function of Department of Education and Skills Circulars

3. CHILDREN’S RIGHTS – Friday 26 and Saturday 27 January 2018

  • The Constitution and the Rights of the Child
  • The Criminal Justice (Witholding of Information on Offences against Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012
  • Garda Vetting
  • Key Principles of Best Practice in Child Protection and Welfare including Children First National Guidelines for the Protection and Welfare of Children
  • Key Constitutional and Legislative Principles concerning Disability
  • The role of the SNA
  • The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act 2004
  • School policies
  • Historical model of patronage
  • The Integrated Curriculum and Opt–outs
  • Forum of Pluralism and Patronage, 2012
  • Process of School Divestment 

4. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF TEACHERS – Friday 13 and Saturday 14 April 2018

  • Existence of the Duty of Care
  • Breaching the Duty of Care
  • Causation
  • Case law and Negligence
  • Linkage between School Policies and Negligence Actions
  • Legislation and School Policies
  • Avoiding Litigation by Engagement with Planning and Policies
  • Case law and policies
  • Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act, 2005
  • Managing Risks in Schools
  • Assessments and Safety Statements
  • Board of Management’s Liability under the Occupiers’ Liability  Act 1995


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; 

  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 have a word limit of 3,500.

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.  


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


Applications are made here.


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
  • Fiona Quigley BL


Please fill in the below form if you would like to receive email notifications alerting you to when more information is available relating to this course.