Session 1: Safety, Family and Employment Risks in Schools

Session ID: 182NZC02A
Date: Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Time: 09:00am - 01:15pm
Venue: Novotel Christchurch, 52 Cathedral Square, Christchurch

Face to face


State: NZ CPD:4
Standard $405.00


Session Content

Date: Tuesday 27 February 2018
Time: 9.00am to 1.15pm
Venue: Novotel Christchurch, 50 Cathedral Square Christchurch

Attend and earn 4 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.

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


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

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

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

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 Lodge

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.

Venue Details

Novotel Christchurch

52 Cathedral Square
Christchurch 8011



The closest train station to the Novotel Christchurch is Tower Junction.

Limited parking is avavliable onsite, parking is not included in the

registration fee and is subject to change.

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"Excellent, very thought provoking with great notes to reference later"

Delagate - Public Law and Local Government – Auckland, March 2017


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