Education and the law

General guidance on a range of legal issues for schools.

The materials are not a substitute for specific legal, governance, HR or industrial relations advice.

Changes to education law

The Education and Training Act 2020 passed into law in August 2020. The Ministry of Education website has comprehensive information on the changes and their implications for schools:

Education and Training Act 2020

Click on the headings below to view common legal questions, answers and topics in each area.

Basic principles of law for school leaders

School leaders have many responsibilities to groups and individuals within the school community. You don’t need to be a lawyer to be a school leader, but you do need to understand how natural justice, judge-made law and legislation affect your role. These basic principles will help you.

Further legal advice

The Ministry of Education contracts the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) to provide governance advice and expert HR and industrial relations advisory services.

NZSTA Advisory and support centre

You can also seek legal advice from a law firm approved by your school’s liability insurer.

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