School Law Conference: Legal Risks and Practical Solutions

Session ID: 186S01
Date: Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Time: 09:00am - 05:15pm
Venue: Stamford Plaza Adelaide Hotel, Level 2 Meeting Rooms, 150 North Terrace, Adelaide

Face to face

Substantive Law: 7

State: SA CPD:7
Standard Price $860.00
Early Bird Discount $760.00

Also available as

OND186S01 Seminar Recording WEB186S01 Live Web Seminar


Session Content

Date: Wednesday 27 June 2018
Time: 9.00am to 5.15pm
Venue: Stamford Plaza The Adelaide Hotel, Adelaide

Attend the full day and earn 7 CPD units in Substantive Law

The legal risks facing schools today are real and numerous, and so too are the consequences. If you ignore them, if you fail to manage them effectively, if you allow your school to be overwhelmed by them, then the outcome will be dire for you and your school. Your duty to your school, its students and its staff is absolute. Master how to protect all of them from the many legal risks that can, and will, arise at any time.

Session 1: Managing Staff, Parents and Legal Risk

Chair: Anne Martin, Principal, Suneden Specialist School

Building a Supportive Culture: Legally Managing Challenging Behaviours of Staff
Conflict in the workplace is inevitable; it's how it's managed that counts.

  • How to manage challenging staff behaviour and conflict at the earliest opportunity, in the most informal way, and by the most appropriate people
  • Candid conversation: a process for staff to resolve their own conflict without unnecessarily escalating their concerns
  • Managing unsatisfactory performance
  • Mental health and workplace performance
  • Querulous behavior

Presented by Ross McSwan, Barrister, Inns of Court

Risk Management: A Complete and Complex Overview for your School

  • Role and responsibilities of the Board and management for risk
  • International Standard on Risk ISO31000:2009
  • Risk management frameworks: what they are and how they work
  • Performing a risk assessment, including use of voting technology
  • Strategic, operational, reputational and financial risks for schools
  • Risk examples and case studies
  • Events held on school property
  • Competition and reputation risk
  • Changing the culture and building ownership for risk
  • Regular oversight: by whom and how

Presented by David Powell, Managing Director, Risk4Schools

Your Battle Plan When Your School or Staff are Under Attack on Social Media

  • Where is the attack coming from? Facebook, blogs, forums, surveys, and online directories with teacher and school ratings
  • Is there truth to the claim? Your duty to investigate
  • Dealing with staff when there's merit to a complaint about them
  • Should you contact the complainant or respond online? The legal risks, the potential benefits, and policies and training to have in place
  • When and how you can get a website to remove complaints or criticism?

Presented by Paul Gordon, Senior Associate, NDA Law

Parental Disputes: The School, The Child, The Family, The Law

  • Understanding parenting orders
  • Shared parental responsibility: what it means and how it affects schools
  • Assisting schools to focus on child wellbeing
  • Enrolment issues when parents won't agree
  • Family assessment reports, the process and school involvement

Presented by Jane Kellett, Senior Associate, Howe Jenkin and Lucy Keller, Director, Legal Services, Department for Education and Child Development

Session 2: Modern Legal Risks and Illegal Activity

Chair: Mr Noel Mifsud, Principal, Christian Brothers College, Adelaide

Digital Deviants: Students and Online Offences

  • Sexting, cyber bullying and other online offences
  • Who has responsibility, the school or parents?
  • How to handle these situations: navigating the process
  • Legal risks, policies and training

Presented by Robert Kane, Barrister, Mitchell Chambers

Working with Police when a Child Discloses and the Vital Role of Schools

  • The Police: dealing with the vulnerable, home-schooling, guardianship
  • Working with victims and offenders
  • Intervention orders and how to apply them
  • What to do you when a child discloses or you suspect abuse
  • Immediate responsibilities and obligations
  • Post-incident procedures

Presented by Senior-Sergeant Sharon Walker-Roberts, Family and Domestic Violence Unit, South Australian Police

Drugs, Weapons and Illegal Activity: Rights, Responsibilities and Regulations

  • Discovering a staff member in possession of child exploitation material: your obligations under the law and how to handle the situation
  • Inappropriate teacher/student relationships: the standard teachers are held to under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA) due to their position of trust or authority
  • The school's legal authority to conduct searches and confiscate property if a student is suspected of possessing illegal or banned items
  • Balancing employee privacy and school safety: How to approach staff if they are suspected of being under the influence of illicit drugs whilst at work
  • Students (or teachers) suspected of dealing drugs at school: the legal differentiation between possession and trafficking of a controlled substance
  • Students using school IT resources to commit computer crimes: What constitutes a computer offence under the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (SA)?

Presented by Will Snow, Special Counsel, Finlaysons


Chair:Anne Martin

Anne Martin has a long background in and a real passion for the education of students with disabilities. She has worked in many educational settings, including the University Sector and since 2014 she has been the Principal of Suneden Specialist School. Anne loves working as a School Principal. It provides tremendous scope to influence and shape a school's educational philosophy and culture. Suneden is an Independent multi- disciplinary school at the forefront of education for students with special needs. It is most recently best known for its innovative "Suneden TV" - a weekly TV show that not only promotes positive behaviour routines but is a joyous celebration of each and every one of its students.

Ross McSwan

Ross McSwan is a barrister and nationally accredited mediator based on the Sunshine Coast, Qld. Ross and his South Australian wife, Briony, are regular visitors to South Australia to visit his daughter who is studying at University of Adelaide. Ross has significant experience in offering professional development to the state and independent school sector on managing challenging behaviours of staff and parents throughout Australia and in New Zealand. He is a preferred provider for executive level mediations on school based disputes in state and independent schools. Ross has experience as an investigator in school matter has recently completed 15 years service Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Navy Reserve and holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

David Powell

David Powell has over 33 years Big 4 accounting firm experience, including 10 years as a partner, in consulting to clients in a range of industries on IT audit, risk management, internal audit, corporate governance and external audit. In particular, he has been involved with some of the largest corporate and government internal audit assignments in Australia providing advice to management and boards of major Australian enterprises in both the private and public sector. He has facilitated Risk Assessment and Management at over 25 schools and the SACE Board of SA. David chairs the Audit and Risk Committee of five organisations and is the former chair of the Pilgrim School Board.

Paul Gordon

• Improving subcontract documentation to administer the Act

Jane Kellet

Jane Kellet is a Senior Associate at Howe Jenkin Family Lawyers and Mediators and is a recognised family law specialist in all areas of family law including financial claims but in particular in resolving children's issues that can arise on the breakdown of a relationship. The 2017 Doyles Guide has named Jane as one of 8 recommended parenting lawyers. Jane was admitted to practice in 2006, and before joining Howe Jenkin in 2014, Jane worked for 7 years in the family law section of one of Adelaide's major commercial law firms. Jane is also a member of the Governing Council of one of Adelaide's independent schools and has been for almost three years.

Lucy Keller

Lucy Keller is the Director of Legal Services for the Department of Education and Child Development where she is responsible for overseeing the delivery of legal services across all of DECD and the provision of high level, timely, strategic legal advice to the Chief Executive, the Minister's office and senior executive. Lucy commenced her career as a Judge's Associate to His Honour Justice von Doussa in the Federal Court, and then worked for 3 years as a defence lawyer with the Legal Services Commission of South Australia appearing as counsel in the Magistrates Court, Youth Court, District Court and Supreme Court. Between 1997 and 2000 Lucy worked in private practice in Broken Hill before returning to Adelaide to work as a prosecutor with the State Office of the Director for Public Prosecutions. Lucy spent 8 years prosecuting major criminal matters and in 2011 moved to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions as a Senior Solicitor where she prosecuted complex drug importations, fraud and child exploitation. In 2014 Lucy assumed the role of Assistant Director, Office for Child Safety with Families SA ( now the Department for Child Protection) overseeing the regions of Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Ceduna, Coober Pedy and the APY Lands and leading multi-disciplinary teams of social workers, psychologists, business managers, Aboriginal consultants, financial counsellors and kinship care workers. Lucy joined the Department for Education and Child Development in 2015 as Assistant Director of Legal Services; managing the delivery of all legal and policy advice to schools, preschools, children's centres, corporate office and child protection. She was acting Director of Legal services for 12 months overseeing delivery of legal services to both the Department of Child Protection and DECD before being appointed Director in November 2017. Lucy is passionate about providing schools and preschools with swift practical legal advice that allows educators to focus on the needs of students and navigate the risk and duty of care issues faced by staff every day.

Noel Mifsud

For the past 12 years Noel Mifsud has been Principal at CBC Adelaide. CBC is a three campus Birth to Year 12 College for over 1200 students. Noel began his role as Principal in 1993 in the remote Northern Territory school of Xavier Community Centre on the Tiwi Islands. In 1992 Noel served as the base commander wintering and leading an international team in Antarctica for the 45th Australian National Research Expedition to Casey Station. He was an educational advisor to the Australian Army for 8 years and has lectured in educational leadership nationally and internationally in China, Philippines and India. He has visited schools in every continent, holds five degrees in education and has been mentioned in Parliamentary Hansard for his significant contributions to Aboriginal education. He is a Knight of the Sovereign Military order of Malta. Married to Jacqui Noel has two children Casey and Elaina.

Robert Kane

Robert Kane practises at all levels of the criminal justice system from summary matters to appeals. He has an extensive practice in trials, criminal appeals and coronial inquests both in South Australia and other jurisdictions. He has appeared in a wide range of cases ranging from murder to people smuggling to white collar fraud. He has a particular interest in trials involving historical allegations of sexual abuse. He has authored a contribution to an international book on testimony in sexual cases which was published by the Oxford University Press in 2016.

Sharon Walker Roberts

Senior-Sergeant Sharon Walker-Roberts has been a police officer with South Australia Police since 1984. She began her career as a patrol officer before moving into the specialist area of domestic violence and child abuse where she spent ten years working in an operational capacity investigating offences of this nature and providing support to victims. Following a four-year posting to SAPOL's Industrial Relations Branch negotiating enterprise agreements for police, Sharon moved into the corporate victims area, currently holding the position of Victim Policy State Coordinator. Her unit sits within the Family and Domestic Violence Branch, and is responsible for reviewing SAPOL policies and procedures relating to domestic violence, child abuse and victims of crime issues, developing and updating internal training for police on these topics, and representing SAPOL on interagency committees and working groups around improving collaborative practices.

Will Snow

Will Snow is a Special Counsel at Finlaysons. He advises schools on managing workforce and risk issues and in relation to duty of care concerns. His principal areas of practice are employment, discrimination, WHS and workers compensation. Will has wide experience in acting for schools to manage risk, compliance and workplace conflict issues. He is the parent of two primary school students with another close behind. He is full of admiration and wonder at how his children are cared for and taught by his local primary school. His respect for teachers and administrators is profound. He doesn't know how they do what they do. Incredible.

Venue Details

Stamford Plaza Adelaide Hotel

Level 2 Meeting Rooms, 150 North Terrace
Adelaide 5001

Ph: 08 8461 1111


Nearest train station is Adelaide Railway Station.

Valet parking is available at the Stamford Plaza hotel from AUD $40 per

car, per day.

Guest Self Parking is available at the Stamford Plaza hotel from AUD

$20.00 per 24 hours.

No parking or travel costs are included in the conference fee.

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"The practical scenarios and how to deal with them was quite useful in applying to my practice"

Delegate - 3rd Annual Intellectual Property Law Conference, Sydney, March 2017






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