Schools and their legal obligations
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Schools and their legal obligations

Principals Australia Institute is offering professional development in the legal rights and obligations of schools and school leaders.

It goes without saying that school leadership entails an enormous load of responsibility. But as a principal, have you considered – and do you fully understand – your legal obligations?

Every school leadership team needs to be able to identify and prepare for key legal risks that may impact the running of their school. From understanding a school’s duty of care, discrimination against principals, and managing social media, to stress-related claims, employment law, workplace health and safety, and family engagement, every school principal should know how to manage these situations.

Principals Australia Institute (PAI) recognises the necessity of relevant, proactive legal advice for school leaders – for the benefit of the leaders themselves, as well as their staff teams and schools.

“By offering the Schools and the Law training series, we’re aiming to prepare principals and their teams so that they can deal with such issues, if the situation arises,” says Paul Geyer, Chief Executive Officer of Principals Australia Institute. “In today’s increasingly litigious society, it’s one way we can help school leaders feel confident and informed.”

Schools and the Law is being delivered in partnership with Wallmans Lawyers, a respected law firm comprising nationally recognised leaders with extensive knowledge of key industry sectors. Each event will take the form of a two-hour seminar, themed around a topic of high relevance to school leaders.

One of the topics offers for the Schools and the Law in 2018 is “Managing employee contracts and claims” and will cover such issues as preparing and drafting employment contracts; relevant considerations including industrial awards, policies and procedures; part-time and relief staff; performance management; managing staff who are ill or injured, or have extended absence from work; and contract termination.

Other themes that will be offered include bullying and discrimination claims against principals; managing staff; preventing and managing stress-related claims; duty of care and management of violent or problematic students; managing difficult or hostile parents; and social media in the school context.

Wallmans Lawyers’ presenters for Schools and the Law are Chris Wellington and Michael Kay. Mr Wellington is a Special Counsel, Risk Management and Dispute Resolution specialist. He is a highly experienced litigator with a significant client base in the education sector, providing advice and training to teachers on a range of professional and legal issues, as well as to the University of South Australia. Mr Kay heads Wallmans Lawyers’ specialist workplace relations, employment and safety practice, providing clients with day-to-day advice in relation to all aspects of workplace relations and employment management. He has presented at the Law for Schools Legalwise Seminar, where he discussed employment contracts in the education sector. Both have had their expertise recognised in the prestigious Best Lawyers Australia list, as well as Doyle’s Guide.

Schools and the Law seminars are being offered in Sydney, Hobart, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide in April and May. You can check the Events Calendar at www.pai.edu.au to find the scheduled date for your location.