Schools’ Legal Update 2022

Schools’ Legal Update 2022

Legal Island, alongside the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), bring together the top lawyers working in education and experts in employment law to update school leaders in Ireland on the most important developments you need to understand before 2023.

Who is it for?

This practical seminar will be particularly valuable to school Principals, Vice Principals and other school leaders, including teaching unions.

After attending you will:

  • Have greater confidence and excellent checklists to use when conducting a workplace investigation
  • Understand the law on covert & overt recordings, absence management and employment status
  • Have received practical options to consider for flexible working policies and fixed term contracts in your school.
  • Have had ample time to explore challenging issues with our experts and your peers.
  • Know the guidance on how to sensitively handle issues surrounding transgender students.

Where and when?

This event will take place online on the Hopin platform on Tuesday 6 December 2022 between 9:15am and 3.45pm. All sessions will be recorded and available to view once the event has ended.


Standard Rate: €245

More about our online events platform Hopin

This event will be hosted on a browser based platform named Hopin. We have provided some information below to assist you when accessing the event:

  • If you are using a Laptop. PC or Apple Mac please use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox browsers
  • The latest version of Edge may be used as long as all recent updates have been made within the last 4 weeks
  • If you are using a mobile device then Safari is recommended for IOS and Google Chrome on Android

We understand that some IT policies may restrict the downloading of new browsers, please check and if this is the case you may have to use your own personal device to access the event.





Get to Know Us

Familiarise yourself with the functions of our online event to ensure you maximise return on your investment. Rolanda Markey, Legal Island, welcomes delegates to our 2022 event.


Welcome and Introduction

Paul Crone, Director, National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD)

NOTE: all the following sessions are being recorded and delegates will be sent links after the event for all recordings, which can be viewed until the end of the academic year and used for revision or staff training purposes.


Ogier Leman LLP’s Schools' Employment Law Update 2022

The year since our last update in December 2021 has seen the development of many new laws relating to employment, several through case law decisions of our superior courts. Partner and Head of Employment and Corporate Immigration at Ogier Leman LLP, Bláthnaid Evans, explains what these developments mean for schools as employers in Ireland. In particular, Bláthnaid will discuss:

  • A Statutory Right to Request Remote Work
  • Work-Life Balance and the Right to Request Flexible Working
  • An Updated Code of Practice on Harassment and Sexual Harassment
  • Gender Pay Gap Reporting – Larger Schools to Report December 2022

This session includes 15 minutes for Q&A.

NOTE: This session will consist of what our speaker considers to be the most important developments in employment law relevant to school leaders at December 2022 and may differ from the above topics.


Comfort Break


A&L Goodbody’s Schools’ Data Protection and Technology Round-up

Technology has many benefits in demagogy but many drawbacks when incorrectly used or when it interferes seemingly interferes with a school’s ability to properly teach or govern. In this session, Duncan Inverarity, Partner, considers these technology-related issues in Ireland’s schools:

  • Potential increased cyber-security threats to your school associated with teachers working from home
  • What information about past pupils and staff must you keep safe and for how long?
  • Non-material Loss and Damages: What penalties, other than fines by the DPC, might employers face for data protection breaches?
  • Avoiding Fines (and what to do if you don’t) for email protocol breaches
  • When can a school take action for inappropriate posts on social media by teachers?
  • Latest data protection case law e.g. Rolfe & Ors v Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP [2021] EWHC 2809 (What is "credible harm"?) and Doolin v The Data Protection Commissioner [2022] IECA 117 (CCTV footage cannot be used for unspecified purposes)
  • The DPC’s three short guides for children on data protection and their rights under the GDPR

This session includes 15 minutes for Q&A.

NOTE: This session will consist of what our speaker considers to be the most important developments in data protection law relevant to school leaders at December 2022 and may differ from the above topics.


Comfort Break


Education Law and Developments Round-up

Dr Claire O’Connor BL, is recognised as one of Ireland’s leading barristers in the area of education law. In this session, Claire runs through key education law issues that impact on most schools in Ireland, including:

  • Education (Admission to Schools) (Co-Education) Bill 2022
  • The Board of Management of a School v A Father [2022] IECC 1 (Alleged gender discriminatory practice in favour of female parent in admissions’ policy)
  • Education (Health, Relationships and Sex Education) Bill 2021
  • Joint Committee on Gender Equality recommendations in May 2022: 
    • Implications for practice of the above legislation and case law including how to approach school policies and implementation of policies in light of the changes.

This session includes 15 minutes for Q&A.

NOTE: This session will consist of what our speaker considers to be the most important developments in education law relevant to school leaders at December 2022 and may differ from the above topics. 




How to Set Out an Investigation Report

In late 2021, the High Court granted an injunction to a teacher restraining the school in which she works from carrying out a disciplinary process over the manner in which she conducted remote teaching during school closures earlier in that year.

Much of the reasoning behind the court’s decision to stop proceedings involved inadequacies in the school’s investigation and gathering of evidence of the allegations. That case is under appeal at the time of writing this programme.

What exactly must a sound investigation report into, for example, teacher underperformance contain?

  • How should it be structured?
  • What should be included in the investigator’s terms of reference?
  • What is the best way for you to set out your findings? And…
  • How do you avoid bias, particularly confirmation bias, is a largely self-contained organisation like a school?

Michelle Halloran, MD, Halloran HR Resolutions Ltd explains all by way of a template for delegates to follow in any future investigations of misconduct by teachers.

This session includes 15 minutes for Q&A


Comfort Break


Special Needs and Best Practice

Former school principal John Kearney was appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) in March 2022. NCSE is a statutory body established under the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPSEN) Act 2004. It was set up to improve the delivery of education services to persons with special educational needs arising from disabilities, with particular emphasis on children.

In this session, we hear John’s vision for SEN provision in Ireland’s schools and how he believes all educationalists can help in creating a more inclusive school system for those children with special educational needs.

John will also reference emerging legislation relating to special education and the impacts this legislation will have for schools. So, how might this inclusive approach impact on Section 29 appeals and, importantly, how should schools balance the rights of one disabled, perhaps disruptive, individual student against the rights of other students who need peace and quiet to study and learn?

This session includes 15 minutes for Q&A.


Closing remarks from Paul Crone



  • Paul Crone
    Paul Crone NAPD

    Paul Crone, Director of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), and formerly Principal of Old Bawn Community School, Tallaght and currently Director of Schools in City of Dublin ETB.

  • Bláthnaid Evans
    Bláthnaid Evans Partner & Head of Employment Practice

    Bláthnaid has extensive experience in all areas of employment law, having trained in one of the leading trade union / employee firms and subsequently working in a top 5 law firm.

    She advises on all contentious and non-contentious issues, with substantial experience in advising clients before all employment law forums including the WRC, Labour Court and High Court for employment-related injunctions.

  • Duncan Inverarity
    Duncan Inverarity Partner, Head of Employment Law Practice Group
    A&L Goodbody

    Duncan is Head of A&L Goodbody's Employment Law Group and has practiced exclusively in the area of employment law and industrial relations in multiple jurisdictions. Duncan advises public and private sector employers on both contentious and non-contentious matters. He advises Boardrooms across Ireland and abroad on strategic and complex employment and industrial relations matters. Duncan also specialises in crisis management for clients and has advised on some of the most high profile corporate issues in Ireland. Duncan regularly appears for clients in the Workplace Relations Commission, the Circuit Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Duncan also acts for partnerships in mediated settlements and in proceedings in the High Court.

  • Claire O'Connor BL
    Claire O'Connor BL BEd. (DCU), MEd. (UCD), ARIAM, DipLS, Barrister at Law, PhD (DCU)

    Claire O’Connor is a practising barrister for twelve years and specialises in the area of Law and Education.  Additionally, she lectures in the Honorable Society of Kings Inns on the Barrister-at-Law Degree Programme where she is also one of the course co-ordinators for the Advanced Diploma in Law and Education. Claire also serves as an elected member of Dublin City Council for the Pembroke area.

    In 2012 Claire completed her Ph.D. in the area of Constitutional Law for which she was awarded a Government of Ireland Scholarship.  Her thesis is entitled 'An examination of the constitutional, legal and policy position of parents as partners in primary education in Ireland'.  She holds the degree of Masters in Education from University College Dublin.  Claire has guest lectured in NUI Maynooth, Trinity College, Dublin City University, the Law Society and Griffith College.   She began her career as a primary teacher and taught for seven years in Ireland, Spain and Australia. 

  • Michelle Halloran
    Michelle Halloran Trainer
    Halloran HR Resolutions Ltd

    Michelle Halloran is an experienced Human Resource Management professional and an accredited workplace mediator providing training and consultancy services to organisations nationwide, in the Public and Private sector. She has spent a long career originally in executive and general management roles, then specialising in Human Resources management in Ireland, the UK and Europe, across various sectors including investment banking, information technology, manufacturing and services plus some time in the public sector, before starting her own HR consultancy business 17 years ago. Her key areas of expertise are in workplace investigations, disciplinary and performance management and employee relations, and the practical application of employment law in a HR context.

    Michelle originally graduated in Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin and spent the early part of her career developing software for the investment banking sector from which she was promoted into a series of senior executive and management positions in the financial services sector.

    She then worked in HR Management for high profile multi-nationals such as Abbott Laboratories, American Power Conversion and Thermo King, as well as assisting start-up companies to develop the “human” component of their businesses.

    Michelle holds a Masters degree in management, and she is a Chartered Member of the CIPD, whose objective is to promote best practice in management training and development here and in the UK. Michelle was also awarded with top marks the NUIG Foundation Diploma in Training and Education, which is the nationally recognised qualification for business training providers.

  • John Kearney
    John Kearney Chief Executive Officer
    National Council for Special Education

    John Kearney was made Chief Executive of the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) in September 2016, where he progressed the delivery of contemporary special education facilities and the expansion of further education and training progression routes for students and adults with special educational needs.

Event details


1 Full Day


06 December 2022


Online - Hopin


Standard Rate: €245

Save an additional €20 when you pay with a card when booking online!