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Our lawyers are regularly asked to share their knowledge of current legal and industry issues and the impact of legislative changes at conferences, seminars and other events run by industry bodies, government and educational institutions around Australia and internationally. Piper Alderman's lawyers are speaking at the following upcoming events:

31 Aug 2018

National Education Summit

Hear valuable advice on how to manage risks and legal issues in an educational setting. This one day conference tailored to Principals and School Leaders will cover 5 key issues including managing staff, managing legal risks, sexting in schools, governance issues for school boards and councils and Intellectual Property presented by lawyers from Piper Alderman.


Fo further information and to book, click here.

8:30am – 9:30am
Session 1: Performance managing and dismissing Teachers in schools: Exploring best practice and implementing guidance from recent decisions of the Fair Work Commission
Presented by David Ey

Principals and other school leaders often feel unsure about how to deal with teacher underperformance, as distinct from misconduct.  They think that under-performance is hard to prove and they fear the legal consequences of dismissing an unsatisfactory teacher.  The result in many cases is that nothing is done and the problem persists.  This session aims to inform school leaders about how to navigate the legal risks associated with addressing underperformance, including to the point of a dismissal where necessary.  Cases decided by industrial tribunals will be examined, to give participants an understanding of when a performance-related dismissal is likely to be held to be fair or unfair.

9:30am – 10:30am
Session 2: Identifying Legal Risk in Schools – When is it time to seek advice?
Presented by Jane Kupsch

Schools are dynamic environments in which the interests, rights, obligations and responsibilities of various individuals and groupss co-exist. Those individuals and groups include the student body, teaching staff, school leaders, administrators, governing bodies, parent groups and volunteers. Occasionally, an event that poses legal risk to some or all of those groups arises. This session will explore, with practical examples, how schools identify and manage potential legal risks and what should be done when a potential risk materialises into threatened or actual, legal proceedings.


10:45am – 12:00pm
Session 3: Sexting in Schools – How to manage the legal implications
Presented by Chris Hartigan

Chris Hartigan is an employment lawyer who was formerly a high school teacher in Victoria and Queensland. Chris has advised schools and university colleges in relation to the impact of criminal law on student misbehaviour. He will address the legal issues that arise from sexting by school students. He will do so by reference to Victorian context and will review Crimes Act (Vic) provisions dealing with sexting, mandatory reporting obligations of schools and more general issues of how schools should undertake investigations and impose disciplinary sanctions while criminal investigations may still be running in parallel.


12:00pm – 1:00pm 
Session 4: Governance issues for school boards & councils
Presented by Simon Venus

Schools are large and small, they have different legal forms, can be denominational or not, and operate within government and non- government frameworks. Irrespective of the structure or nature of a school, there are some important and common underlying themes and duties for governing bodies. However, there is no “cookie cutter” model for governance; the individual approach of a particular governing body should be sympathetic to the size and nature of the school over which it has stewardship. This session will look at the key sources of governance for school governing bodies, as well as statutory and other duties and through a series of case studies, tease out some governance issues which have presented boards and their chairs.


2:00pm – 3:00pm
Session 5: Top 5 Legal Issues in Procurement of IT Services
Presented by Tim Clark

Tim has experience acting in relation to intellectual property and information technology matters for schools, tertiary institutions, education service providers and IT service providers to the education sector. In this session, Tim will take a practical look at the following top 5 legal issues in procuring IT services for schools:

  1. ensuring that ownership of intellectual property is dealt with in an appropriate manner;
  2. making sure you clearly specify what it is that you are going to get (including using a tendering process);
  3. ensuring there is clarity around pricing (including allowing for future growth);
  4. ensuring that there are clear and appropriate service levels and
  5. ensuring that providers are part of the solution (and not the problem) in dealing with privacy and data security issues.


3:00pm – 4:30pm
Session 6: Panel Discussion – Q&A – What would you do?
Chaired by David Ey

A panel discussion of a hypothetical case study touching on disputes, duty of care, child safety, social media & defamation and termination of enrollment.