School Law VIC 2017

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

Date: 7 September 2017
Time: Morn: (2 separate streams): 8.45am – 1.15pm Aft: (2 separate options): 2.00pm – 5.15pm
Venue: RACV City Club, 501 Bourke St., Melbourne

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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

Julie Podbury, President, Australian Principals Federation

9.00 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

Patrizia Mercuri, Partner, Lander & Rogers Lawyers

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

Will Spargo, Senior Associate, Lander & Rogers Lawyers

Performance 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

Brendan Murray, Special Counsel, Minter Ellison Lawyers

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 record keeping in dealing with difficult parents

Katharine O’Donnell, Senior Advisor, Intergovernmental Relations and Legislation, Office of the Secretary, Department of Education, Tasmania; National President, 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: Emerging Considerations for Schools in 2017

Nancy Bicchieri, General Corporate Legal Counsel, Legal Services, Catholic Education Melbourne

9.00 Handling 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

Paul O’Halloran, Partner and Solicitor, FCB Workplace Law; Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations

Performance 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

Brendan Murray, Special Counsel, Minter Ellison Lawyers

Understanding and Handling 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

Ross Jackson, 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 record keeping in dealing with difficult parents

Leneen Forde, Partner, Norton Gledhill Lawyers

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

Toni Meath, Principal, Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School

Josie Crisara, Principal, Aitken College; Chair, AHISA Victoria

2.05 Dealing with Student-on-Student Sexual Abuse in Schools

  • Legal updates: reviewing laws affecting student-on-student sexual abuse and sexting in schools
  • Examining relevant offences and how the law views responsibility at different ages – from primary age to secondary
  • Dealing with sexting allegations
  • 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 and how?
  • When should you take steps to notify authorities?
  • 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?

Steven Troeth, Partner, Gadens Lawyers; Member, ANZELA

Child Safe Standards and Codes of Conduct: Reviewing and Managing Practical Implications Across a School to Date

  • Recapping Ministerial Order 870 Child Safe Standards – Managing the Risk of Child Abuse in Schools
  • Examining the scope and practicalities of obligations under a Child Safe Code of Conduct, including:
    • when students are related to staff
    • when students and staff participate in outside of school activities (ie. sport)
    • the online forums students and staff participate in
    • the photographing or filming of students
    • the situations in which there may be 1:1 contact between students and staff
  • Using Child Safe acknowledgements, disclosures and references during recruitment
  • Understanding an employer’s obligations in relation to Working With Children Checks, including:
    • the use of exemptions
    • the validation of WWCCs on engagement and during the engagement
    • updating the relevant organisation status
  • Effectively vetting and managing Volunteers, Contractors and other visitors
  • Supporting the Child Safe Officer and mandatory reporting obligations

Lisa Oldham, Director of Human Resources, St Patrick’s College, Ballarat

Family Law Case Studies: Navigating Family Breakdown and the School’s Duties, Rights and Obligations

Follow a family breakdown and how it tests school leaders and staff in an interactive case study, reflecting real experiences and cases. How do you respond to different legal issues and exposures as the case study unfolds? What should a school do where is sees escalating conflict leading to Court orders, including intervention orders? How do you fulfill your duty to the child, other children and the proper management of the school? What is best practice in dealing, step by step, with the grey areas and challenges that keep you up at night? Topic areas covered include:

  • 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 and efficient operation of the school
  • Reviewing court orders, parenting plans and rights where there are no orders. Is there a “hierarchy” of orders and how does each affect the school’s obligations?
  • Understanding domestic violence orders, how they interact with Family Court orders and knowing how a school should manage and respond
  • Understanding what weight is given by courts to the wishes of the child and the effect of the child’s wishes in practice
  • Examining circumstances where your duty of care may conflict with court orders or parenting plans
  • Dealing effectively with subpoenas and requests for information

Wendy Kayler-Thomson, Partner, Forte Family Lawyers; Chair Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia; Accredited Family Law Specialist

5.10 Closing Remarks from the Chairperson

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:

Nancy-Bicchieri-webNancy Bicchieri is an experienced corporate, commercial, litigation and regulatory lawyer with extensive experience in education law and alternative dispute resolution. She is highly regarded for her ability to provide clear, strategic and commercially focused legal advice.

Will-Spargo-WebWill Spargo has significant experience across all aspects of workplace relations and safety, with a particular focus on employment related litigation. He frequently appears in various courts and tribunals, including the Fair Work Commission, Federal Court and VCAT. Will also regularly conducts complex workplace investigations and advises on restraint of trade, discrimination and compliance issues.

Katharine-ODonnell-webKatharine O’Donnell is a lawyer employed by the Department of Education in Tasmania.  She was Manager of Legal Services for 11 years, providing advice to government schools and is now Senior Advisor Intergovernmental Relations and Legislation, assisting in the development of a new Education Act for Tasmania.

Lisa_Oldham_webLisa Oldham spent 5 years as a Solicitor, practising exclusively in Education and Employment Law. Now with St Patrick’s College, Lisa is the College’s inaugural Director of Human Resources. A member of the Leadership Team, Lisa’s role includes recruitment, managing standards and investigations, dealing with industrial, legal and practical HR risks and supporting the Business Manager.

paul-ohalloran-webPaul O’Halloran is an Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations and has over 15 years’ experience in the legal sector. He works across a large number of industries and has a special expertise in advising clients operating in the education sector. Paul acts for a number of education clients, including a provider of Catholic education services and private colleges.

Leneen-Forde-webLeneen Forde specialises in commercial dispute resolution and education law. Leneen has a particular interest in the legal issues associated with education facilities from preschool to postgraduate institutions. Leneen lectures in Civil Procedure and Alternative Dispute Resolution at Australian Catholic University.

Steven Troeth_editSteven Troeth has extensive experience in the education sector, including acting for independent and Catholic schools. He advises on employment, student and parent issues, including staff and teacher disputes, discrimination, bullying, cyber and social media issues, enterprise agreements and contractual disputes.

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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