School Law NSW 2017

Program – Morning (2 separate streams) and Afternoon (2 options)

Date: 5 September 2017
Time: Morn: (2 separate streams): 8.45am – 1.15pm Aft: (2 separate options): 2.00pm – 5.15pm
Venue: Aerial UTS Function Centre, Level 7, 235 Jones Street, Ultimo

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PROGRAM AT A GLANCE
Choose your sessions
   
Morning
8.45am-1.15pm
Stream 1 - State Schools SeminarORStream 2 - Non-State Schools Seminar
Afternoon
2.00pm - 5.15pm
Afternoon Seminar
(All Schools)
ORSchool Sports Law Workshop (All Schools)
MORNING STREAM 1 - STATE SCHOOLS
8.45am - 1.15pm

8.45 Welcome from LawSense

8.50 Opening Remarks from the Morning Chair: Emerging Considerations for Schools in 2017

Lila Mularczyk, Director, Secondary Education, NSW Department of Education; Immediate Past President, NSW Secondary Principals’ Council

9.00 Handling Staff Claims Against You During Performance Management or Investigations: Key Elements and New Legislation Update

  • Reviewing key claims that can be made by staff against you:
    • bullying and harassment
    • discrimination
  • Understanding how these claims affect performance management or investigations
  • Exploring strategies during performance management or investigations to help avoid potential claims
  • Dealing with external investigators
  • Reviewing case studies and lessons learnt

Christa Lenard and Alice DeBoos, Partners, K&L Gates Lawyers

Practical perspectives and learnings from experiences

  • Exploring strategies during performance management or investigations to help avoid potential claims
  • Reviewing case studies and lessons learnt

Jane Thorpe, Executive Director, Employee Performance & Conduct, NSW Department of Education

Dealing Effectively With Teacher Misconduct

  • Understanding the line between underperformance, inappropriate conduct and teacher misconduct
  • Reviewing legal rights and obligations of the school and teacher in dealing with misconduct
  • What are the particular matters to consider where the alleged conduct occurs on social media?
  • Examining best practice in investigating allegations of misconduct. What are the initial key steps? What evidence are you entitled to request or collect? What are key pitfalls to consider?
  • Exploring when conduct should be reported to police
  • Understanding and managing the disciplinary process

Neale Dawson, Managing Director/Principal Solicitor, New Law

Practical perspectives and learnings from experiences

  • Effectively assessing and managing staff conduct at the outset
  • Learning from recent matters and circumstances

Jane Thorpe, Executive Director, Employee Performance & Conduct, NSW Department of Education

Managing Ill and Injured Staff – Navigating Rights and Obligations

  • Reviewing the current legal framework affecting ill and injured staff
  • Understanding workers compensation, medical injuries and the rights of a school
  • Examining performance management of ill or injured staff:
    • how is it different to performance management of well staff?
    • what are the particular considerations where the staff member is mentally ill or injured?
    • addressing continuing staff absences
    • understanding the pitfalls and risks
  • Navigating reasonable adjustments, modified duties and WorkCover
  • Dealing with medical assessments and expert opinions

Tim McDonald, Partner, Moray & Agnew Lawyers; Accredited Specialist in Industrial and Employment Law

Dealing with Difficult Parents: Responding to Complaints and Parents on Social Media

  • Reviewing key laws and updated policies relevant to difficult parents and complaints
  • Understanding the scope of parent’s rights with respect to the school
  • Dealing with a parent with a mental health issue – what are your legal obligations?
  • Parents on social media – what are your options where negative material is :
    • posted on public websites
    • distributed in private Facebook pages to members of the school community
    • included on online “surveys” of teachers created by parents
  • What are your rights of reply to social media posts from parents and how can this be handled?
  • Drawing a line in the sand – at what point can you defensibly:
    • restrict or limit communication with the parent
    • restrict the parent from involvement in school activities
    • ban a parent from a school
  • Effective communication as a litigation minimisation strategy
  • Best practice in documenting communications with difficult parents.

Margaret Baker, Principal Legal Officer, NSW Department of Education; NSW Chapter Member, ANZELA

1.10 Closing Remarks from the Morning Chair

1.15 Close of Morning Seminar and Lunch for Day Delegates

MORNING STREAM 2 - NON-STATE SCHOOLS
8.45am - 1.15pm

8.45 Welcome from LawSense

8.50 Opening Remarks from the Morning Chair

Paul Teys, Principal, Hunter Valley Grammar School; Chair of AHISA NSW/ACT

9.00 Understanding and Defending Staff Adverse Action Claims

  • Examining the Fair Work Act general protections:
    • understanding “adverse action” by a school and on what basis staff can bring claims against schools
    • who can make the claim and what a staff member can seek from the Fair Work Commission
    • the reverse onus of proof – what a school has to prove when a claim is raised and understanding the level of evidence you need
  • Dealing with performance management or disciplinary processes which are also ongoing – should you make any adjustments or changes?
  • Reviewing learnings from education case studies and scenarios

Harriet Eager, Partner, Minter Ellison Lawyers

Dealing with Staff Claims Made During Performance Management or Investigations: Bullying and Discrimination Claims

  • Reviewing key claims that can be made by staff against you:
    • bullying and harassment
    • discrimination
  • Understanding how these claims affect performance management or investigations
  • Exploring strategies during performance management or investigations to help avoid potential claims
  • Dealing with external investigators
  • Reviewing case studies and lessons learnt

Christa Lenard and Alice DeBoos, Partners, K&L Gates Lawyers

Managing Ill and Injured Staff – Navigating Rights and Obligations

  • Reviewing the current legal framework affecting ill and injured staff
  • Examining performance management of ill or injured staff:
    • how is it different to performance management of well staff?
    • what are the particular considerations where the staff member is mentally ill or injured?
    • addressing continuing staff absences
    • understanding the pitfalls and risks
  • Navigating reasonable adjustments, modified duties and WorkCover
  • Dealing with medical assessments and expert opinions

Bruce Heddle, Partner, Maddocks Lawyers

Dealing with Difficult Parents: Responding to Complaints and Parents on Social Media

  • Reviewing key laws relevant to difficult parents and complaints
  • Understanding the scope of parent’s rights with respect to the school
  • Dealing with a parent with a mental health issue – what are your legal obligations?
  • Parents on social media – what are your options where negative material is :
    • posted on public websites
    • distributed in private Facebook pages to members of the school community
    • included on online “surveys” of teachers created by parents
  • What are your rights of reply to social media posts from parents and how can this be handled?
  • Drawing a line in the sand – at what point is there a breach of contract allowing you to ask the student to leave?
  • Best practice in documenting communications with difficult parents.

Jacquie Seemann, Partner, Thomson Geer Lawyers; NSW Chapter Member, ANZELA

1.10 Closing Remarks from the Morning Chair

1.15 Close of Morning Seminar and Lunch for Day Delegates

AFTERNOON SEMINAR OPTION 1 (ALL SCHOOLS)
2.00pm to 5.15pm

2.00 Opening Remarks from the Afternoon Chairperson

Dr Maree Herrett, College Principal, Santa Sabina College

2.05     Managing Children Exhibiting Problematic or Troubling Sexualised Behaviour in Schools

  • Legal updates: reviewing laws affecting sexting and student-on-student sexual abuse in schools
  • Examining how the law views responsibility at different ages – from primary age to secondary
  • Dealing with sexting allegations – what steps can you take to limit or prevent distribution?
  • What steps should be taken where there are only rumours or suspicions of abuse by students and the suspected victim is not being cooperative? When should a school investigate? When should you take steps to notify authorities?
  • Understanding the rights and obligations of the school in investigating: how should it gather evidence, what evidence and from what sources (such as a phone)
  • What are the powers of police, including powers to obtain evidence from the school or other school students?
  • Handling police investigations: how should you respond to police seeking to interview staff, students or requesting documents?

Michael Waterhouse, General Counsel, Department of Education

Discrimination Update: Navigating Your Current Obligations and Understanding Exceptions

  • Examining the current legal framework applying to schools
  • Reviewing key areas where a school can deal with discrimination issues with students:
    • students with mental or physical disability
    • LGBTI students
  • Examining exceptions to discrimination and guidance from cases:
    • how does a school establish “unjustifiable hardship”?
    • when is a requested adjustment or modification not “reasonable”?
  • Understanding when your duty of care to other students outweighs your discrimination obligations
  • Case studies and scenarios, including examples of recent schools experiences with transgender students

Alex Kohn, Partner, Makinson d’Apice Lawyers

Parental Conflict and Separation: Navigating Your Duties, Obligations and Risks

  • Examining key obligations of schools in light of parent conflict – the student’s educational and welfare needs, the welfare of other children and the effective, efficient operation of the school, privacy and confidentiality
  • Parental conflict involving children and step children at the same school – particular legal issues and risks to be aware of
  • Examining the options available to parents on separation and how they impact the school’s obligations: informal arrangements, parenting plans, Court Orders
  • Understanding the school’s responsibility with respect to Court Orders
  • When can you take steps to remove families from a school because of parental conflict
  • Learning from case studies and scenarios

Nathan Croot, Senior Associate, Emil Ford Lawyers

5.10 Closing Remarks from the Afternoon Chair

5.15 Close of Afternoon Seminar

AFTERNOON OPTION 2 – SCHOOL SPORTS LAW WORKSHOP (ALL SCHOOLS)
2.00pm to 5.15pm

Presented by Jason Newman, Partner, Gilchrist Connell Lawyers; Board Member, Australian and New Zealand Education Law Association; Leading Lawyers List, Doyles Guide

Examining Your Duty of Care in Managing Sports Programs, Events and Sport Excursions

  • Reviewing the key elements of a sport teachers duty of care to the students, other school’s students, parents, volunteers, referees and spectators
  • Sport training programs: what are your obligations, what are reasonable training loads and what happens when there are injuries?
  • Developing risk management plans for sports events and excursions – what are key elements to consider?
  • Permission notes and consent forms: what is too much and too little?
  • Managing social activities during sporting events or excursions to meet your obligations
  • Tips in managing difficult parents, opposing coaches and players
  • Reviewing how the law has been applied in cases and scenarios

Dealing With Accidents and Incidents in Sport

  • Understanding your obligations in dealing with accidents and incidents, including obligations regarding head knocks and injuries in games
  • Responding to accidents and incidents:
    • ensuring you have a response plan for the particular circumstances
    • documenting and reporting incidents during sport – what should you document or report and how?
  • Dealing with investigations of accidents and incidents and subsequent legal proceedings
  • Reviewing key case studies and scenarios

Engaging and Managing External Sport Service Providers, Volunteers and Venues

  • Understanding different options for arrangements with external sport providers
  • Reviewing key aspects of contracts with external providers – what to avoid and what to include
  • Examining your rights and obligations regarding volunteers and key matters to consider
  • Understanding and managing venue contracts, including indemnity clauses
  • Reviewing insurance – what will it cover and what is excluded?

5.15 Close of Workshop

Presenters / panelists include:

Mularczyk Lilatcyfgvuhbijno_editLila Mularczyk was Principal at Merrylands High School for 15 years until 2016.  She was the Deputy President of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council (SPC) for 8 years, and was SPC Executive Member for 15 years, including the President of the NSW SPC (4 years). Lila is now appointed as Director, Secondary Education, Learning and Teaching, at the Department of Education

Christa-Lenard-WebChrista Lenard is a workplace relations and employment lawyer with extensive experience in advising public sector departments and agencies at both Commonwealth and state level, as well as large and medium private sector companies on relevant employment and workplace issues. 

Placeholder-onlineJane Thorpe is the Executive Director, Employee Performance and Conduct (EPAC) in the Department of Education. She has led the EPAC team for 14 years. She heads up a Directorate of 60 legal and investigative officers who are responsible for investigating and responding to allegations of misconduct against employees. 

tim-mcdonald-webTim McDonald leads the national workplace practice at Moray & Agnew Lawyers, practising in employment and industrial law, work health and safety, discrimination, bullying and harassment, management of injured workers and termination of employment. Over the last 20 years, Tim has advised and represented employers, from a broad range of industries, including education.

Margaret-Baker-Department-onlineMargaret Baker has worked for the NSW DoE for over 15 years. Over that time Margaret has provided legal support and advice to people working in schools, TAFE NSW, State Office and other Department areas. This advice ranges from prevention of legal liability and legal risk reduction, to privacy, contracts and compliance. She has also represented the Department in courts and tribunals.

Harriet-Eager-webHarriet Eager advises clients on the full spectrum of employment, industrial, and work health and safety issues. She has particular experience in enterprise agreement negotiations and strategy, restructuring and outsourcing, strategic litigation (including unfair dismissals, adverse action, restraints and breach of contract), executive remuneration and work health and safety. Harriet acts for clients in a wide range of sectors including education.

bruce-heddle-webBruce Heddle advises clients on all aspects of employment, work health and safety, anti-discrimination and industrial relations law. Having worked with a variety of schools, colleges, universities and education industry associations over his 30 years of practice, Bruce is highly regarded in the industry and is recommended for employment in various legal directories. 

Photo - Jacquie Seemann - Thompsons - onlineJacquie Seeman acts for education sector clients across the education lifecycle, including preschools, schools and universities. She advises these clients on employment-related issues and also on the broadest range of education law issues, including child protection and health and disability issues.

Michael-Waterhouse-online-edit-25.2.14Michael Waterhouse is General Counsel at the NSW Department of Education. Before becoming a lawyer, Michael had a diverse career in the political arena and NSW public sector. In 2001, after being the Chief of Staff for the Minister for Education and Training for two years, Michael took up his current role to lead the Department’s Legal Services Directorate.

alex-kohn-webAlex Kohn has extensive experience in advising educational institutions, including on contract law; discrimination; procedural fairness; administrative law; WHS; bullying claims; coronial inquests; negligence claims and professional standards issues. Alex has a deep understanding of legal issues affecting the education sector and has advised hundreds of schools over 30 years.

jason_newman_edit picJason Newman’s practice includes the defence of claims in the education sector. He has advised many insurers, schools and teachers on claims and potential claims against them. His clients include Catholic Church Insurances, several major brokers and Lloyds Syndicates.

 

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