Gadens Melbourne offers a well-established and broad range of expertise in legal and associated issues affecting schools. Our team’s experience includes years of working with independent and Catholic schools, the TAFE sector and the various government and regulatory departments relating to independent education in Victoria.
For many years we have undertaken legal work for numerous leading Melbourne independent and Catholic schools in relation to a range of issues. The team has extensive experience advising their schools on employment, industrial relations, occupational health & safety, scholarships, tax, building and construction and general commercial matters.
Over the years we have advised our school clients on a wide range of matters including:
- Employment issues, staff procurement, industrial relations and other contractual issues.
- Teacher / student relations and teacher / parent relations.
- Bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and student relationship issues.
- Working with schools to manage contentious cases of assault and sexual molestation.
- Mandatory reporting and liaison with the Department of Human Services, Police and the relevant Courts.
- Preparation of policies and procedures; including IT use, social media, conduct.
- Safety in sports / excursions and adventure-based activities.
- Building and planning advice.
- Information technology, other policies and compliance.
- Student privacy, and issues arising from school counselling.
- Taxation issues specific and unique to schools, including income tax exemptions, FBT concessions, stamp duty and land tax issues, and charitable funds supporting students in need.
- Establishment of new schools, and advising on registration requirements of VRQA.
- Corporate structuring issues in relation to School Boards.
- Articles, newsletters, seminars and teacher training on developments in the law, relevant cases and proactive risk management.
- Crisis management; more specifically, in cases of student catastrophic injuries and deaths we are able to attend schools at short-notice to respond to crises.
- Establishment of building funds – school library funds and other charitable trusts eligible for endorsement as deductible gift recipients for income tax purposes.
- Scholarship funds to enable the raising of tax-deductible funds from the public for the purpose of awarding scholarships, bursaries and prizes, to assist students to meet the costs of their education by subsidising their school fees and paying other educational expenses.