Education Law Notes – Term 2 2024

Carroll & O'Dea


Established over 120 years ago, Carroll & O’Dea Lawyers offers expert advice and strong advocacy for clients. With a commitment to high-level service and legal expertise in all areas, they blend tradition with modern skills.
Various articles relating to the education sector.
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As we head into Winter, things are heating up in the religious discrimination space as our article about the Australian Law Reform Commission's final report into the exceptions to anti-discrimination protections available to religious educational institutions makes clear.

On a more practical note, for teachers and students, our next article examines how we can keep our campers happy when we take them offsite.

And finally, governments continue to tinker with the rules about what schools can do with their money. We explore how NSW has changed its Regulations and Guidelines.

As always, enjoy the read and stay warm!



Shifting tides for faith-based schools and anti-discrimination laws

On 21 March 2024, the Commonwealth Attorney-General presented in Parliament the Australian Law Reform Commission's final report into the exceptions to anti-discrimination protections that are available to religious educational institutions (including faith-based schools). The Commission has proposed a number of recommendations that, if implemented by the Commonwealth Government, would either abolish or significantly narrow the scope of exceptions to anti-discrimination protections that faith-based schools currently have under Commonwealth law.

Read more about the Commission's recommendations here.

A Tragic End to Overseas Trip

Lachlan Cook was a student at Kilvington Grammar School who went on an overseas school trip to Vietnam organised through World Challenge Expeditions. While on the trip, he suffered a cardiac arrest precipitated by severe ketoacidosis which is a serious complication of diabetes. He was subsequently flown to the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne but died soon after aged 16.

Read more details of what happened and the lessons for all schools taking students away from their campus.

Latest Section 83C Updates: Amended Regulation and New Not-for-profit Guidelines for NSW Non-Government Schools

To be eligible for financial assistance, a non-government school in NSW must not operate for profit, as defined in section 83C of the Education Act 1990 (NSW) and in the Education Regulation 2017 (NSW). A breach of section 83C may lead to a finding that a school has breached the not-for-profit requirements of the Australian Education Act 2013 (Cth) and jeopardise the provision of both state and federal funding.

On 1 March 2024, new section 10B of the Regulation commenced (inserted by Education Amendment (Non-Government School Assets and Income) Regulation 2024. The same day, the Minister published new Guidelines, replacing the June 2019 Guidelines. They set out the circumstances in which a non-government school in NSW 'providing certain education and care services does not operate for profit' for the purposes of section 83C of the Act.

Click  here to read more.

Recent events

The Education Network 9th Annual Schools Law and Regulatory Conference was held in May 2024 in Melbourne.

David Ford presented on "Happy Campers? Child Safety Risks in Offsite Activities".

Stephanie McLuckie presented on "Testing the Boundaries: Relationship Management between a School and its Associated Organisations".

To obtain a copy of their papers, email Lyndall Smart.

Future events

ANZELA NSW Online Seminar

Topic:    Exploring New Frontiers: Recent Updates in Education Law – Discrimination, Generative AI, Historical Child                 Protection

Date:     Thursday, 20 June 2024

Time:     5:15pm – 6:30pm

Online only.

Register  here.

Australia and New Zealand Education Law Annual Conference

Wednesday, 2 October – the Conference Welcome Function

Thursday, 3 October – Day 1 of the conference and conference Dinner

Friday, 4 October 2024 – Day 2 of the conference

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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