NI Schools’ Legal Update 2023

NI Schools’ Legal Update 2023

This event is brought to you in association with ASCL.

It is generally agreed that the teaching profession is becoming a more difficult job year on year. Problems with the behaviour of pupils, rising expectations of parents and increased class sizes and budget cuts have all combined to often produce a marked deterioration in a Principal’s working life experience. None of that has been made any easier as a result of the pandemic.

Employment of staff, regardless of home-working, home-schooling or hybrid provision is governed by laws that continually change. The running of schools is also governed by laws and standards that change.

This event brings together the top lawyers working in education,
together with other experts in employment law in order to update school principals in Northern Ireland.


After attending you will:

  • Understand what implications recent legislation and case law have for school policies.
  • Have had ample time to explore challenging issues with our experts and your peers.
  • Be up to date on Data Protection, Technology and Social Media issues within schools.
  • Appreciate how your school’s admissions criteria and bullying policies can promote equality and tackle inequality.
  • Be able to better support transgender pupils.
  • Have a working overview of Early Conciliation and Tribunal Practice & Procedure.

Course overview/outline programme

We have sessions on employment law developments that you need to know about and three sessions on essential equality issues in schools.

Morning Sessions:

  • The NI Schools' Employment Law Update.
  • Data Protection and Social Media Round-up
  • Boards of Governors – Guardians of Equality

Afternoon sessions:

  • Supporting Trans and Gender Questioning Students
  • Practical Tips for Employment Law Claims 1: Labour Relations Agency Early Conciliation – an Overview
  • Practical Tips for Employment Law Claims 2: Industrial Tribunal Practice & Procedure – an Overview

Who is it for?
This practical seminar will be particularly valuable to School, Principals and Vice Principals and other school leaders, including teacher union representatives.

When and where?
This event will take place online on Wednesday 25 Jan between 9:15am and 3.30pm. All sessions will be recorded and available to view once the event has ended.

Standard Rate: £245 + VAT
Early Bird Rate: £195 + VAT (deadline 5pm on Fri 16th Dec, 2022

Save £20 when you book and pay online when booking.

In association with:




"Well prepared, well delivered, well resourced, well presented. The contributors were knowledgeable but ensured that the delivery style and content was accessible."
Graham Montgomery, Headmaster, Royal School, Armagh

"Very clear and useful information, both verbal and written. I hope I don't encounter all these potential problems but feel better equipped to deal with them should that day come."
Vivien Moorhouse, Principal, Leaney Primary School

"Very appropriate content."
Sean Sloan, Principal, Abbey CBS Newry

"Excellent speakers and information topical and well delivered."
Roisin Bell, Employment Relations Manager, Labour Relations Agency

"The information was concise, relevant and well -presented. the organisation by ASCL and LI was very good."
David Carruthers, Headmaster, Coleraine Grammar School

"I liked the expertise of the presenters - I certainly learnt a great deal; covered relevant areas."
Chris Peel, Headmaster, Sullivan Upper School


  • Robert Wilson
    Robert Wilson Regional Officer
    Northern Ireland Association of School and College Leaders

    Robert Wilson has been part time Regional Officer with ASCL since 2016. Prior to this he was principal of Limavady Grammar School. During his time as principal, Robert sat on the QUB Headteachers' Focus Group and represented ASCL NI on the UCAS Council. He had previous senior leadership experience as a Senior Teacher in Coleraine High School and as Vice Principal of Cambridge House Grammar School, including a period as Acting Principal.  He has served as an Associate Assessor with ETI and as an Associate with CSSC.

  • Seamus McGranaghan
    Seamus McGranaghan Director - Commercial
    O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors

    Seamus McGranaghan qualified as a Solicitor in O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors in 2003 and is an experienced Commercial Lawyer dealing with employment, commercial and education cases.

    He has experience in the Industrial Tribunal representing both Claimants and Respondents and has provided seminars in relation to particular areas of employment law. Seamus is the only member of the Education and Law Association in Northern Ireland. He specialises in advising schools and colleges on policy matters, employment issues and student welfare. He is also responsible for the Education Law Quarterly Review.

  • Orlagh O'Neill
    Orlagh O'Neill Partner
    Carson McDowell

    Orlagh O'Neill is a Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Carson McDowell Solicitors in Belfast. She advises mainly employer clients on a wide range of employment issues and acts for some of Northern Ireland's largest employers. Her education clients include universities, regional colleges and a number of voluntary grammars. This year Chambers and Partners Guide to the Legal Profession ranked Orlagh as Band One for Education. She is a committee member and Chair of the Employment Lawyers Group of Northern Ireland, a member of both the UK and Irish Employment Law Groups (ELA and ELAI) and a regular speaker at annual employment law update conferences.

  • Lauren Hilton
    Lauren Hilton In-house Employment Solicitor
    Association of School and College Leaders

    Lauren Hilton is an in-house Employment Solicitor at ASCL who advises members of the association in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. She primarily assists individuals from school senior leadership teams with their personal employment law issues, employment tribunal claims and supporting those facing professional disciplinary proceedings by their respective education regulators. Prior to joining ASCL, Lauren trained at a regional law firm working with large companies, colleges and universities and their respective HR departments offering full employment law services and advice on managing their workforce. 

Event details


9.15am - 3.30pm


25 January 2023




Early Bird: £195 + VAT (deadline to book is 5pm on Fri 16th Dec)
Standard Rate: £245+VAT

Save £20 when you book and pay online when booking.