Course Description

Diploma in Education Law

Programme objectives

On completion of this training programme, participants will have:

  • An excellent understanding of the key employment law issues relevant to the school setting;
  • An understanding of school structures and governance arrangements;
  • A thorough knowledge of admissions policies and student conduct issues;
  • Knowledge of the legal issues relating to special educational needs;
  • Familiarity with key considerations regarding negligence and litigation management;
  • A thorough knowledge of child protection issues; and
  • An understanding of matters relevant to higher, further, and adult education.

Programme structure and approach to learning

Now in its seventh year, this highly regarded advanced-level diploma provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of the complex legal topics that arise when advising on education law matters. The practice of education law encompasses a diverse range of potential practice areas, including employment law, equality law, conflict resolution, corporate governance, child protection, and litigation. Added to this complexity of potential legal issues is the fact that, in order to provide effective and informed solutions, those advising in education law disputes also need to understand the governance and decision-making structures that apply within a particular school.

This course begins with a general introduction to the often fascinating development of education law in Ireland, considering key constitutional and legislative provisions, before reflecting in more detail on the specific day-to-day issues that arise when advising on education law matters or, indeed, when acting as a decision-maker within a school.

Module 1: Employment law in the school context – part 1

  • Recruitment of staff; status of workers,
  • The contract of employment and understanding Contracts of Indefinite Duration (CIDs),
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures,
  • Termination of employment and unfair dismissals,
  • The Teaching Council, registration, and “fitness to teach” – part 5 of the Teaching Council Acts 2001-2015.

Module 2: Employment law in the school context – part 2

  • Promotion of staff and appointment procedures for principals,
  • Equality in the workplace,
  • Managing bullying and harassment within schools,
  • The application of the Transfer of Undertaking Regulations in the school context.

Module 3: Admissions policies and student conduct

  • Admission, enrolment policies, and equality provisions,
  • Codes of behaviour and school disciplinary procedures,
  • Peer-to-peer bullying and student use of social media,
  • Managing parental complaints.

Module 4: School structures and governance

  • Legislative framework – the Education Act 1988 and amending legislation,
  • Structure and role of boards of management,
  • The role of principals and teachers,
  • Financial management,
  • The inspectorate.

Module 5: Negligence and litigation management

  • The duty of care in the school context,
  • The standard of care,
  • When the duty of care arises and the “boundaries” of the school,
  • Sporting activities organised by schools,
  • Teacher negligence and contributory negligence of children,
  • Degree of supervision and student maturity,
  • Liability of the school authority.

Module 6: Providing for special educational needs

  • Constitutional considerations and legislative provisions,
  • School policies and procedures for special educational needs,
  • Roles and functions of boards of management and principals,
  • The examination and assessment process,
  • Equality law provisions, with a focus on disability discrimination.

Module 7: Compliance matters and miscellaneous provisions

  • Freedom of information and data protection concerns relevant to schools,
  • Child protection obligations and the role of the designated liaison person,
  • The Protected Disclosures Act 2014,
  • Participating in case conferences – best practice,
  • Tusla reporting requirements,
  • Health and safety provisions.

Module 8: Higher, further, and adult education

  • Governance structures at third level,
  • Student conduct issues,
  • Issues relevant to international students.
  • The examination process and managing plagiarism.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for the following:

  • Solicitors, barristers, and trainees who advise or wish to advise on education law matters, and
  • Key stakeholders and decision-makers within the education setting, including school principals, teachers, management organisations, trade unions, and staff associations.

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €335.

Visit the course webpage for more information.

CollegeLaw Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
Course LocationDublin
Location PostcodeDublin 7
Course CategoryLaw
Course TypeBlended Learning - Mix of Classroom & Online
Course QualificationDiploma
Awarding BodyLaw Society of Ireland
Awarding Body DetailsDiploma in Education Law
Course Start Date1st November 2024
Course End Date11th April 2025
Course TimeBlock placement Friday and Saturday sessions (to coincide with periods of school leave) with some evening lectures online. Also available to view on-demand.
Course Fee2,660
For information about Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please visit our College Profile page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

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Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24
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