School Law: How Watertight is your School Enrolment Contract?

How watertight is your school enrolment contract? In disputes like unpaid fees, the enrolment contract serves as the cornerstone of any recovery action. It's paramount that these contracts clearly outline the relationship between your school, the student and their guardians. Equally crucial is ensuring that contract terms comply with Australian consumer laws to avoid legal pitfalls. Attend and gain insight into crafting robust and legally sound enrolment contracts that protect both schools and families. 

Wednesday, 5 June 2024
Early Bird Discount ends 10 May 2024 $112.00

Dr Steven Middleton, Associate Principal, St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar


Teachers attending this session earn 1 Professional Development Hour (NSW, VIC) / CPD Point (QLD, WA, SA)
Lawyers attending this session earn 1 CPD unit in Substantive Law

1.00pm to 2.00pm How Watertight is your School Enrolment Contract?


  • As parents become more willing to take legal action against schools, it is critically important that schools identify legal risks by ensuring terms of enrolment contracts are consistent with the law and cater for the broad range of issues that arise in the student relationship
  • The enrolment contract between the school and parents is a legally binding document
  • In the event of disputes, such as unpaid fees, teacher/student misconduct, expulsion or allegations of breach of duty of care, the enrolment contract will be the basis for many of the rights and responsibilities of the respective parties
  • However, it is surprising how outdated and unsophisticated many of these documents can be

Presented by Paul O'Halloran, Partner and Head of Office, Dentons and Alexandra Terrill, Managing Associate, Dentons


Ms. Alexandra Terrill, Managing Associate, Dentons
Alexandra Terrill is a Managing Associate in the Employment and Safety team in the Melbourne office. Alexandra has considerable experience providing practical and tailored solutions in relation to various workplace law matters across the full range of employment and post-employment matters. She advises clients across various industries, including retail, education, security, labour hire and aged care. Alexandra has worked on some of the most significant industrial relations cases of the past decade. For example, between 2016-2017, she instructed Counsel on behalf of the Australian Retailers Association in the penalty rates reduction case in the Fair Work Commission, which reduced penalty rates in modern awards in the retail and hospitality industries. This was one of the most significant cases in retail industry history in Australia. She also worked on a major High Court matter on behalf of Boral against the CFMEU which involved contempt of court and secondary boycotts, ultimately resulting in a successful High Court judgment for the client.

Mr. Paul O'Halloran, Partner and Head of Office, Dentons
Paul is a Partner in the Employment & Safety team at Dentons in Melbourne. Paul is an Accredited Specialist in Workplace Relations. He has a strong focus on resolving high risk disputes in the workplace for employers. This frequently involves employee misconduct, union disputation, governance and workplace culture, industrial action, vulnerable stakeholders, media interest and reputational risk. Paul’s solutions extend across a range of industries such as education, technology, logistics, health, aged care, faith-based, bio-medical and labour hire and cover legal issues arising at all phases of the employment relationship (pre-employment, during employment and post-employment). Paul played a critical role in State and Federal judicial and court administration for a 10-year period while working at the Supreme Court of Victoria and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, where he worked with two Chief Justices. Paul also held an executive position at the Family Court of Australia where he was responsible for overall delivery of registry services to the judiciary and self-represented litigants as well as the management and supervision of 60 registry staff. He is the co-author with Dentons' partner Toby Blyth on a textbook on privacy and surveillance in the workplace (published by Wolters Kluwer).

Dr. Steven Middleton, Principal, Berwick Grammar School
Dr Steven Middleton is currently the Associate Principal of St Margaret’s Berwick Grammar, a independent school in Melbourne’s outer south east. Over the past two decades Dr Middleton has worked in a variety of leadership roles in various independent School’s in both Sydney and Melbourne including The King’s School, Knox Grammar School and Carey Grammar. Dr Middleton has a passion for school culture, teacher and student growth and high performance in various contexts. His Doctoral Thesis from The University of Melbourne focused on leadership and character education for adolescents. Steve has written and presented extensively on issues of school culture, strategic leadership, student well-being and achievement in recent years. He is also beginning a Juris Doctor degree due to his interest in educational legal matters.

This seminar is part of a series

School Law: Disability, Sports, LGBTIQ+, Sexual Misconduct and Enrolment Contracts

With a crackdown on school sporting injuries, increasing pressure to prevent student on student sexual assault, recent recommendations from the Disability Royal Commission, a changing approach to LGBTIQIA+ students and an influx of enrolment contract disputes, don’t miss your chance to get across a diverse range of legal challenges affecting Australian schools in this unique series tailor made for educators. Get the insights and strategies needed to remain vigilant in a changing education system.


Teachers attending the entire series earn 5 Professional Development Hours (NSW, VIC) / CPD Points (QLD, WA, SA)
Lawyers attending the entire series earn 5 CPD units in Substantive Law

This program is applicable to practitioners from all States & Territories

If you register for the full series as a live online product after the date of an individual session, you will be sent the recording for the sessions that have passed. Alternatively, you can register for individual sessions by following the links below.


View series listing


School Law: How Watertight is your School Enrolment Contract?


Single Session
Wednesday, 05 June 2024
1.00pm to 2.00pm Australia/Sydney
CPD Points 1
Early Bird Discount ends 10 May 2024 $112.00
Online 20240418 20240605


On Demand 20240418 20240605

Post Seminar Recording