Education Law Conference: Your School at Risk
Face to face
Date: Tuesday 27 February 2018
Time: 9.00am to 5.15pm
Venue: Novotel Christchurch, 50 Cathedral Square Christchurch
Attend and earn 7 CPD hours
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 let them blindside you, 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 pupils 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: Safety, Family and Employment Risks in Schools
Chair: Nic Hill, Headmaster, Christchurch Boys' High School
Real Risks Facing Schools Today: It's Not All About Bullying
- Health hazards in schools: asbestos, fire risks, mould, fall risks and other dangers
- To whom do you owe an obligation? Students, parents, carers, contractors, visitors and more
- Safety issues with the design and layout of school buildings, facilities, equipment and grounds
- Roads, vehicles, footpaths, parks and risk management: Does your duty extend outside the school gates?
- Maintenance management: lack of reporting from your staff and your obligation to maintain grounds after school hours
- Obligations on playground duty
- Before and after school care: risks and exposures
- Do boarding schools need different sets of rules?
Presented by Sarah Townsend, Partner, Duncan Cotterill
Families, Conflict, The Courts and Your School
- Knowing and understanding the relevant legislation
- The Children, Young Persons and their Families Act 1989
- The Domestic Violence Act 1995
- The Care of Children Act 2004
- Dealing with separated parents and blended families
- Day to day care and contact
- Handling difficult situations
- Guardianship issues and who needs to provide consent
- What to do when the State becomes involved
- Interpreting Subpoenas and other Court Orders
- Working with the lawyer appointed by the Court to represent the child
Presented by James Pullar, Senior Associate, Taylor Shaw
Effectively Managing Substandard Performance
- Distinction between discipline and competency
- Who initially drives it - the Board or the Principal?
- Starting a formal performance process
- Advice and guidance (the first stage)
- Pitfalls and what to avoid
- What to do when A & G fails to remedy the situation
- End stage competency (dismissal)
- Reporting to the Education Council
Presented by David Beck, Principal, SB Law
Disciplinary Process and How to Manage Personal Grievances
- Running an investigation: how to investigate allegations of inappropriate conduct/misconduct
- When to suspend
- Disclosure and confidentiality issues
- Mandatory reporting
- The personal grievance process
Presented by Ashley-Jayne Lodge, Senior Associate, Cavell Leitch
Session 2: Modern Risks: Privacy, Social Media and Crisis Management
Chair: Nic Hill, Headmaster, Christchurch Boys' High School
Understanding, Reviewing and Working with Privacy Policies, Processes and Guidelines
- Reviewing New Zealand's privacy laws
- Identifying practical steps to tighten up gaps in your privacy policies
- Integration with other policies such as recruitment and IT
- Examining recent cases and lessons to learn to prevent a potential breach
Presented by Kathryn Dalziel, Partner, Taylor Shaw Barristers
Students and Social Media: What is the Extent of Your School's Responsibility?
Although you want to protect your students on social media it can be difficult to know where to draw the line and the extent of your responsibility and duty of care.
- What are the legal consequences of technology misuse in schools?
- Avoiding misuse of technology by students
- Hidden risks for teachers and schools
- Appropriately dealing with online incidents
- Sensitive content and cyber-bullying
- Online sexual predators and students who initiate these behaviours
- Social media use outside of school hours: Is there a duty of care?
Presented by Gareth Abdinor, Partner, Malley & Co
Managing Your School's Reputational Risk During a Crisis
Managing reputation by valuing transparency and keeping your school community informed is more effective than mopping up reputation damage after a crisis. Yet, in today's fast paced, complex social media environment, a crisis of one kind or another is virtually inevitable - not an 'if' but 'when' scenario. When it happens, there is an immediate tension between keeping the community informed, protecting reputation and managing legal risk.
- Navigating defamation risk
- Privacy and young persons
- Communication restrictions in the context of Coronial and Court proceedings
- Name suppression
- The challenge of social media in managing reputation
- Planning for the crisis: practical steps
Presented by Jonathan Forsey, Special Counsel, Duncan Cotterill
Chair: Nic Hill
Nic Hill is the Headmaster of Christchurch Boys' High School. Nic started his career as a History Teacher and conducted his Master's research on how principals resolve the dilemma of maintaining relationships with staff while at the same time managing their performance. Nic is an executive member of the Canterbury West Coast Principals Association and the Association of Boys Schools of New Zealand. While Headmaster of Christchurch Boys' High School Nic has led the school's rebuild and has introduced eLearning. Nic has ensured that caring and inclusivity are central to the definition of a modern boys school and he has also paid attention to institutional processes with the intention that schools can be world class organisations.
Sarah Townsend is an employment and health and safety lawyer, with significant experience in providing clients with pragmatic and strategic advice and to finding effective solutions to complex problems. Sarah has practised employment law in both New Zealand and England, including working as an in-house employment lawyer at one of the world's largest investment banks. This has provided her with extensive experience in advising clients on the full range of employment issues, including restructuring, discipline and termination, discrimination, bullying and harassment, performance management, enforcing restraint of trade clauses and advising clients on employment issues arising from the sale or purchase of a business. Sarah has represented clients at mediation, in the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court. As part of Duncan Cotterill's leading Health & Safety team, Sarah also has extensive experience advising and advocating for clients on a full range of health and safety issues, with a particular focus on assisting clients deal with issues of impairment in the workplace, including drugs and alcohol, fatigue, stress and bullying. Sarah regularly writes articles, present seminars and speak at conferences on employment and health and safety issues. She has presented at the 2016 National Employment Law Conference, co- ordinate the Employment Relations Special Interest Group for the Canterbury Branch of HRINZ and is the author of LexisNexis Practical Guidance - "Health and Safety Governance".
James Pullar is a Senior Associate in Taylor Shaw's Civil Litigation and Employment, and Education Law practice. He acts for a wide variety of clients including local and national businesses, School Boards of Trustees, Independent Schools around New Zealand, and private individuals. James regularly appears in the District Court and the High Court across a broad range of civil work, as well as in the Employment Relations Authority and the Employment Court. James is recognised as a senior litigator and employment lawyer. He advises our clients in respect of issues that arise in a workplace environment. This includes disciplinary investigations, strategic advice on restructuring processes, and personal grievances. In civil litigation, James has developed specialist expertise in insurance law, negligence, contractual disputes, as well as contentious trust and estate matters. James also advises clients in relation to matters that arise in a School environment, including suspensions and exclusions, resolving complaints, staff issues, and property matters. James is an active contributor to New Zealand Law Society programmes, including Employment Law conferences and seminars, and the annual Young Lawyers' Mooting Competition. He currently sits on both the NZLS (Canterbury-Westland) Employment Law Committee and Special Events Committee and is a previous convenor of the Junior Practitioners' Committee.
David Beck is an employment and education law specialist and partner in the Christchurch law firm SB Law Incorporating RA Fraser & Associates. David has over 30 years' experience in the education and industrial relations sector and he regularly appears before various court, tribunal and disciplinary bodies. He is also a member of a local primary school board and has an ongoing specialist legal practice that provides advice and advocacy for various educational bodies and individuals.
Ashley-Jayne advises clients in all aspects of employment law working with them to provide practical, pragmatic solutions to often complex employment issues. She has represented both employers and employees in the education sector, including from early childhood, primary, and secondary schools. Ashley-Jayne can assist employers, employees, and HR professionals with all manner of employment advice, including day to day management of employees, restructures and redundancies, employee claims, advising on and providing representation in human rights matters, and employment agreements and policies. Ashley-Jayne represents clients at mediations, in the Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court, and Human Rights jurisdictions, as well as representing and advising sports players and clubs in disciplinary and general matters. Ashley-Jayne also advises clients on their health and safety obligations under the new legislation, including representing those being investigated by WorkSafe.
Kathryn Dalziel is a partner at Taylor Shaw in Christchurch specialising in employment and privacy law as well as civil litigation and professional ethics. Kathryn also provides advice to school boards across a range of legal issues. In her 25 year career, she has worked as a senior Crown prosecutor as well as a lecturer in employment law, privacy and legal ethics at the University of Canterbury. Kathryn regularly presents seminars on behalf of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, is the author of "Privacy in Schools" and co-authored the chapter on Health Information in "Health Care and the Law (4th ed).
Gareth Abdinor is driven to build long-term relationships with his clients and to provide them with trusted guidance and practical solutions to their legal challenges. Gareth is an employment law specialist and advises employers and employees on all aspects of the employment process, including documenting the employment elationship, disciplinary processes, terminating employment, employee restraints, health & safety and restructuring. Gareth sits on the Employment Law Committee of the Canterbury/Westland branch of the New Zealand Law Society and regularly delivers presentations to clients and the legal profession on employment law issues. Gareth is also one of New Zealand's experts in privacy, information and technology law. Gareth provides specialist advice and education in relation to compliance, data privacy, data and privacy breaches, social media & technology, and cyber-bullying. Gareth has delivered privacy training for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and is the co-founder of the South Island Privacy Network. He has also delivered training on cyber-law issues for the New Zealand Law Society's Continuing Legal Education and at the annual Education Law conference.
Jonathan Forsey is a Special Counsel in the Christchurch litigation and dispute resolution team. Jonathan has considerable experience across a broad range of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution forums, including the Courts at all levels, specialist tribunals, arbitration and mediation. Jonathan specialises in defamation and media law issues, as well as privacy, official information, cyber liability, and technology related aspects of the law. His work encompasses advice on advertising and broadcasting standards, fair trading and consumer legislation, and other aspects of statutory compliance. Jonathan also deals with contractual disputes, administrative law and insolvency. In recent years, he has developed a practice dealing with many of the legal issues thrown up by the Canterbury rebuild. Jonathan has advised clients on construction contracts issues, contracting, retentions and compliance issues, insurance and regulatory matters, as well as contract and negligence issues. Jonathan is admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales and spent several years as a commercial litigator with one of the top five City firms in London. He has also worked in Auckland as a Judge's Clerk and as a media law and general commercial litigator for a large Wellington firm.
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