Course Description

Diploma in Education Law

Diploma in Education Law is a course run by Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, Dublin. It is a 'Online Learning' course . Diploma in Education Law gives a Course Qualification of Diploma, awarded by Law Society of Ireland. For more information about Diploma in Education Law at Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please review the details below.

Programme objectives

On completion of this Diploma in Education Law training programme, participants will have:

  • An excellent understanding of the key employment law issues relevant to the school setting;
  • An understanding of school structures and governance arrangements;
  • A thorough knowledge of admissions policies and student conduct issues;
  • Knowledge of the legal issues relating to special educational needs;
  • Familiarity with key considerations regarding negligence and litigation management;
  • A thorough knowledge of child protection issues; and
  • An understanding of matters relevant to higher, further, and adult education.

Programme structure and approach to learning

Now in its sixth year, this highly regarded advanced-level diploma provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of the complex legal topics that arise when advising on education law matters. The practice of education law encompasses a diverse range of potential practice areas, including employment law, equality law, conflict resolution, corporate governance, child protection, and litigation. Added to this complexity of potential legal issues is the fact that, in order to provide effective and informed solutions, those advising in education law disputes also need to understand the governance and decision-making structures that apply within a particular school.

This course begins with a general introduction to the often fascinating development of education law in Ireland, considering key constitutional and legislative provisions, before reflecting in more detail on the specific day-to-day issues that arise when advising on education law matters or, indeed, when acting as a decision-maker within a school.

The effect of Covid-19 on the educational sector will also be examined.

The course is designed to be as accessible as possible, with key sessions taking place during standard school holidays and all lectures webcast and accessible “live” or in playback format.


The programme is based on the following module scheme and covers key themes as listed below:

Module 1: Employment law in the school context – part 1

  • Recruitment of staff; status of workers,
  • The contract of employment and understanding Contracts of Indefinite Duration (CIDs),
  • Grievance and disciplinary procedures,
  • Termination of employment and unfair dismissals,
  • The Teaching Council, registration, and “fitness to teach” – part 5 of the Teaching Council Acts 2001-2015.

Module 2: Employment law in the school context – part 2

  • Promotion of staff and appointment procedures for principals,
  • Equality in the workplace,
  • Managing bullying and harassment within schools,
  • The application of the Transfer of Undertaking Regulations in the school context.

Module 3: Admissions policies and student conduct

  • Admission, enrolment policies, and equality provisions,
  • Codes of behaviour and school disciplinary procedures,
  • Peer-to-peer bullying and student use of social media,
  • Managing parental complaints.

Module 4: School structures and governance

  • Legislative framework – the Education Act 1988 and amending legislation,
  • Structure and role of boards of management,
  • The role of principals and teachers,
  • Financial management,
  • The inspectorate.

Module 5: Negligence and litigation management

  • The duty of care in the school context,
  • The standard of care,
  • When the duty of care arises and the “boundaries” of the school,
  • Sporting activities organised by schools,
  • Teacher negligence and contributory negligence of children,
  • Degree of supervision and student maturity,
  • Liability of the school authority.

Module 6: Providing for special educational needs

  • Constitutional considerations and legislative provisions,
  • School policies and procedures for special educational needs,
  • Roles and functions of boards of management and principals,
  • The examination and assessment process,
  • Equality law provisions, with a focus on disability discrimination.

Module 7: Compliance matters and miscellaneous provisions

  • Freedom of information and data protection concerns relevant to schools,
  • Child protection obligations and the role of the designated liaison person,
  • The Protected Disclosures Act 2014,
  • Participating in case conferences – best practice,
  • Tusla reporting requirements,
  • Health and safety provisions.

Module 8: Higher, further, and adult education

  • Governance structures at third level,
  • Student conduct issues,
  • Issues relevant to international students.
  • The examination process and managing plagiarism.


Workshops are a key feature of this course. These are designed to be interactive and involve working in groups on selected case-study problems and analysis, with an emphasis on the application of the law to common scenarios encountered in practice. Workshop dates are as follows:

Workshop Title Date Time
1 Employment and equality law issues relevant in the school context. 04 January 2022 14:00 – 16:00
2 School structures and governance; litigation management; and providing for special education needs. 26 February 2022 10:00 – 12:30
3 Full course review 16 April 2022 11:00 – 13:30


Two 2,500 word written assignments.

Who should attend?

This course is suitable for the following:

  • Solicitors, barristers, and trainees who advise or wish to advise on education law matters, and
  • Key stakeholders and decision-makers within the education setting, including school principals, teachers, management organisations, trade unions, and staff associations.

We welcome applications for this course from suitably qualified non-members. Please explain your interest and set out any relevant experience in a cover letter and a brief CV. Such applications are subject to a supplemental fee of €300.

Hear from our graduates

Kathryn Nerney

“Having recently completed an LLB, the Diploma in Education law presented as a specialised area and a practical course relevant to my role as a primary school teacher. The course modules dealt with the wide range of legal issues that arise from the day-to-day interactions of the partners in education. It has equipped me with a thorough and broad understanding of the legal pitfalls, with a particular focus on the most litigious areas for management. The link and interaction between the various areas of the law became clearer after every module. Lectures were always very insightful and practical, the lecturers having a broad knowledge and understanding of the legal issues impacting on schools. The course notes are comprehensive and make for useful referral where legal issues arise.”

Kathryn Nerney (primary school teacher)


Lecturers and tutors will be drawn from experienced practitioners in the field of education law. Previous lecturers have included:

  • Eileen Flynn BL,
  • Margaret Gorman, Eversheds Sutherland,
  • Edel Kennedy, Mason Hayes & Curran,
  • Catherine Kelly, Mason Hayes & Curran,
  • Fergal Mawe, Law Society of Ireland,
  • Paul McDonald, AJP McDonald Solicitors,
  • Ian O’Herlihy, Mason Hayes & Curran,
  • Seán O Longáin BL,
  • Liam Riordan, Mason Hayes & Curran,
  • David Ruddy BL,
  • Christine West, Joint Managerial Board.


We have designed our courses to enable you to satisfy as much of your CPD requirement as possible. Time spent attending lectures and workshops in person or completing these via e-learning as part of your course can be claimed towards your annual CPD requirement. The number of hours of CPD that you may claim in relation to your diploma/certificate course will depend on the way in which you access each of the individual sessions. Please note that the limit for e-learning has been removed for the 2021 CPD cycle. For further information, visit the CPD scheme  and download the CPD booklet.

The Diploma Centre team will host our annual CPD conference in November 2021. This complimentary event is a dedicated management and professional development skills and regulatory matters session. We will post an invitation on your Diploma Hub page later in the year.

The Diploma in Education Law course at Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre is listed in's national courses finder.
Training ProviderLaw Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
Course LocationDublin
Location PostcodeDublin 7
Course TypeOnline Learning
Course QualificationDiploma
Awarding BodyLaw Society of Ireland
Awarding Body DetailsDiploma in Education Law
Course Start Date29th October 2021
Course End Date16th April 2022
Course TimeBlock placement – four Friday and Saturday sessions with lectures online (to coincide with periods of school leave). Also available to view on-demand.
Course Fee2600
For more information about Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre, please visit our College page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre

The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24, Dublin, Ireland

Make Enquiry

Please insert your contact details and any additional information you require and we will forward your request to Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre

Captcha code        I confirm I have read the Cookie Information, Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy and I agree to join the community.


Law Society of Ireland - Diploma Centre
The Education Centre, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7 (DX 79 Dublin), Ireland D07 VW24
Visit Website