Close this search box.
(07) 3231 2444
Close this search box.

Education and training

Education and training providers face a broad spectrum of unique legal issues that call for specialist expertise in education law.

Education law and legal issues are particularly affected by frequent legislative reform resulting from changing educational practices and student needs.

Our team of specialists have significant experience advising a diverse range of organisations in the education sector. This includes schools (state and non-state), universities, colleges and other tertiary institutions, as well as private educational institutions, registered training organisations and other training providers.

Our team advises principals, management teams, boards and governing bodies. Our education sector advice extends to matters such as student enrolment, workplace relations and safety, student protection, legislative compliance, property acquisition and disposal, planning and environment, construction and infrastructure, corporate governance, structuring (including as a not-for-profit entity), insurance and risk.

We understand the sensitive environment in which education and training institutions operate. In particular, we recognise the diverse educational, social and religious philosophies and affiliations that must be balanced by these organisations.

Our team provides services to educational and training institutions in the following areas.

  • preparing staff policies covering staff conduct, prevention of workplace discrimination and bullying, grievance procedures, complaints handling, privacy and teacher performance
  • advising principals and other managers about matters concerning the Queensland College of Teachers
  • advising on a range of workplace relations and safety matters, including enterprise bargaining, teacher and executive level employment agreements, discipline and dismissal, discrimination, grievance management, adverse action and workplace health and safety.
  • providing advice on student enrolment, conduct and anti-discrimination
  • preparing policies covering enrolment, student and staff conduct, student disability and access to curriculum, grievance procedures, complaints handling, privacy and student protection including bullying
  • advising on matters arising under the Education (Accreditation of Non-State Schools) Act 2001 (Qld), the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 (Qld), the Education And Care Services National Law Act 2010 and the Education And Care Services National Law Regulation 2011
  • preparing enrolment contracts and fee arrangements
  • acting for educational institutions in disputes including governing body and committee disputes, discrimination complaints, parental complaints and student protection matters.
  • the acquisition and sale of property including additional land and disposal of unwanted property
  • negotiating planning and infrastructure outcomes with the Queensland Government and with local governments across Queensland
  • advising on project structuring, including development agreements and joint ventures
  • advising on all property law related issues including easements and other user rights
  • providing planning and environment advice and appeals
  • advising on and negotiating all types of leases such as leases of vacant land, buildings or parts of buildings
  • agreements with contractors including drafting service level agreements with suppliers
  • advising on stamp duty consequences of transactions including the best way to structure deals to gain exemption from duty
  • neighbourhood disputes
  • other commercial issues.
  • advising on procurement of infrastructure and services, structuring procurement and purchase arrangements including service level agreements, advising on tenders and tender disputes
  • building and construction contract advice and documentation and dispute resolution 
  • documenting, negotiating and advising on all forms of contract relevant to infrastructure.
  • advising school boards, university boards, committees and other educational governing bodies on the application and implementation of good corporate governance practices
  • advising on accreditation requirements and on appropriate legal structures, including preparing and amending governing documents
  • advising on funding issues including meeting legislative requirements and on procedures for applying for and obtaining various tax and charity endorsements and concessions
  • maintaining tax and charity endorsements and concessions and similar registrations
  • establishment and operation of school building funds
  • advice on GST compliance and availability of duty exemptions
  • registration requirements to undertake fundraising and requirements for holding such events.
  • general advisory, including indemnity and entitlement to damages issues
  • occupiers’ liability
  • rehabilitation
  • claims management
  • advising self-insurers and other employers in relation to Q Comp review and appeals
  • litigation services
  • multiple third party claims involving interaction with the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) and the Civil Liability Act 2003 (Qld)
  • defending personal injuries, expulsion, indecent dealing, physical and sexual abuse claims brought by students, former students and families
  • conducting matters involving class actions brought against institutions.

Key contacts

Laura Gahan
Annie Smeaton
Carly Ashwood
Special Counsel
Gemma Sharp
Special Counsel


Accountant’s failure to disclose autism diagnosis pays dividends for employer’s defence of an adverse action claim

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have recently dismissed an accountant’s claims of adverse action and disability discrimination, finding that there was no causal link between the employee’s dismissal and his autism.

Unfair dismissal claim following unclear employment terms – a lesson for schools

Unclear employment terms resulted in a casual relief teacher claiming that she was unfairly dismissed because she had ‘no reason to think’ that her position was only for a fixed term.

No negligence during football game collision – due to proper supervision, school avoids paying almost $580,000 in damages

A student’s negligence claim against a school following a football game collision has failed due to the school’s proper supervision and safe conduct of the game.