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Education Law Notes - Term 2 2023

Education Law Notes – Term 2 2023

Published on June 21, 2023 by Courtney Lawes, David Ford, Samuel Chu and Stephanie McLuckieCourtney Lawes, David Ford, Samuel Chu and Stephanie McLuckie

Social media accounts have the power to connect us with our community and those outside our current network. Yet, we all know the power social media has to damage relationships and ruin reputations. In this issue, we set out our top tips for managing your school’s online presence, unauthorised posts and anonymous accounts.

In the last two editions of Education Law Notes, we considered the increasing concerns of vaping and your duty of care for the young people in your schools. Here, we take a look at the Commonwealth Government’s recent announcement on steps to stamp out vaping, particularly among younger Australians.

We also review a recent case where a teacher at a Victorian school alleged psychiatric injury as a result of “unreasonable workloads”.

School building funds are an important part of any school’s fundraising efforts. The recent ATO Decision Impact Statement about a Federal Court decision relating to school building funds and the criteria required to seek or maintain tax deductibility status for such funds is therefore essential reading for those involved in fundraising and development.

Finally, we look at the recent Victorian Government announcement to further narrow the scope of charitable exemptions from its State taxes. This time, they are targeting the top 110 ‘high-fee’ non-government schools and their current exemption from payroll tax.

As always, enjoy the read!

Warm regards,


David Ford

Social Media and the law: Our top tips for managing your school’s online presence, unauthorised posts and anonymous accounts

In this era of ‘digital permanence’ (the idea that once something is on the internet it lives forever), it can be challenging to protect your School’s brand and reputation online. School leaders must be proactive about managing their School’s social media presence – if you do respond quickly to damaging posts and statements, you may be able to have them removed.

Click here to read more.

Taking action on vaping

Vaping continues to be a problem in schools. Recognising the need to “stamp out vaping – particularly among younger Australians”, the Commonwealth Government announced on 2 May 2023 that it would introduce legislative reforms and implement policy measures to tackle the emerging vaping crisis.

Click here to read more.

“Unreasonable workloads” and psychiatric injury – when does a duty to protect employees arise? 

It is well known that employers owe a non-delegable duty of care to their employees to take reasonable care to avoid injury that is “reasonably foreseeable” and such duty extends to psychiatric as well as physical injuries.

When a risk of injury becomes “reasonably foreseeable” can be a difficult question to answer, particular in the context of psychiatric injuries.

The decision of Bersee v State of Victoria (Department of Education) applies a new High Court authority on foreseeability of psychiatric injuries at work to an educational context.

Click here to read more.

The latest on school building funds

Registered non-government schools, religious organisations that provide education, and other charities should consider the impact of the Australian Taxation Office’s recent Decision Impact Statement on their ability to seek or maintain Deductible Gift Recipient endorsement for a “school building fund”.

Read more here.

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