Schools have a mission to provide high quality education to children and students who will support and advance the future. On the other hand, in Japan, declining birth rates continue, and many schools are faced with declining enrollment problems. In order to overcome these circumstances, it is necessary to study and present a detailed breakdown of expenditures and promote thorough cost reductions, in addition to improvements in the quality of education.
We provide advice, from a professional perspective, from setting the number of teaching staff that matches the number of students and the appropriate personnel expenditure ratios to securement of financial stability.
There are not a few schools that are hesitant in collecting unpaid academic fees and student loans in arrears. However, collecting these arrears is an important task that plays a vital role in the sound management of a school, and therefore, it is necessary to handle such tasks without hesitation.
However, preparation and dispatch of a document in making a claim for arrears to non-payers, negotiations with non-payers and credit management require complicated and cumbersome administrative tasks, and if legal expertise is lacking, the staff tends toward caution and hesitancy and makes it difficult to follow through with the procedures promptly.
We, as a staff of experts, take all procedures, including grasping of actual conditions, billing, credit management, negotiations and collection, to facilitate such administrative tasks and reduce the burden on a particular school.
A school is a field of education, but at the same time, a workplace for many school personnel. Therefore, appropriate employment management is essential in the management of a school.
We confirm labor regulations of a school including work regulations and advice for revisions to establish appropriate improvements in work regulations that match the actual working conditions. We also provide appropriate advice on the management of working hours.
Development of ability and appropriate job assignment of teachers are also required to maintain the quality of education. For this purpose, we offer advice on all matters concerning personnel management (training, recommendations of retirement, dismissal, suspension of employment, demotion, personnel relocation, pay reduction, etc.). In the case of violation of work regulations, etc., we research the facts to clarify the necessity and appropriateness of punishment and provide advice concerning the effectiveness of disciplinary action.
Currently, a Labor Standards Supervision Office has strong concerns about overtime work of school personnel. Therefore, schools are required to prevent the occurrence of overtime work and at the same time, perform labor management according to the actual conditions of each school.
We realize personnel management pursuant to the Labor Standards Act, such as the introduction of a one year flexible work hour system and adoption of a complete approval system of overtime work based on the actual conditions of a school, while maintaining present working arrangements. We also conduct negotiations with a Labor Standards Supervision Office.
There are many cases that require negotiations between labor and management, including improvements in management and changes in work regulations.
We make smooth the personnel management of each particular school and reduce each school’s burden by handling labor matters, ranging from responses to and collective bargaining with labor unions, various procedures for labor committees to labor trials and courtroom litigation, such as labor tribunal decisions, provisional disposition for conservation of a position and litigation in defense of invalid dismissal.
Schools may face various “risks,” including harassment between personnel, and personnel and students, accidents in school, disputes with corporations and other bodies, misconduct such as information leaks and occurrence of damage resulting from bullying and corporal punishment.
In case of such risks, if a school does not immediately grasp the situation, set up an investigation committee, and respond to mass communication media, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the school board, the school will wind up with a damaged reputation and lose the trust of its students and parents.
We make the first response at the outset of such risk occurrences, provide advice on the prospects of a case and communicate the necessity for setting up of an investigation committee and independent committee, and conduct a survey as an investigation commissioner.
We instill a sense of reassurance to the administrator of the particular school by making a detailed response, ranging from voluntary questioning, determination of facts to preparation of written opinions and reports.
In the United States, most schools hire consultant lawyers, and if unreasonable complaints from parents extend beyond a certain threshold, such parents often find themselves staring down litigation brought by a particular school. In recent years, there are many outstanding cases where teachers have become both physically and mentally exhausted while attempting to handle unjust and malicious complaints on the rise in Japan. Fatigue suffered by teachers leads to a lowering of educational standing. We take various measures to enable teachers to fully concentrate their energies on education.
For example, the cases of monster parents do not occur abruptly, but are necessarily preceded by precursory phenomena. It is our motto to respond promptly and achieve a settlement amicably, and if a case is not settled through the above methods, we respond severely to such a case as attorneys that will reduce the burden on teachers and maintain a peaceful environment at a school.
In addition, we offer comprehensive care to schools by handling training workshops and private consultations for teachers and attend parent orientation meetings at the request of a school.
In Japan, many schools face problems of decreasing enrollment as birth rates continue to decline. It is a detriment to society that such a problem results in the disappearance of schools that can offer high quality education.
We also support reorganization of schools by focusing attention on the individual character of each school and leverage its strengths.
We conduct reviews and offer proposals on various schemes, for example, the creation of a strong brand through school tie-ups that share common principles, expansion of learning opportunities and development of student capabilities across various fields through school tie-ups with widely different characteristics and establishment of universities to enhance the education level of the affiliated schools.
We also provide practical advice and support for the foundation of new faculties and departments that will meet the needs of the current age.
We hold various lectures and training workshops, including lectures to prevent bullying, corporal punishment and various types of harassment such as power harassment, sexual harassment, academic harassment and school harassment, lectures to introduce points to remember associated with revision to the Labor Contract Act, the Personal Information Protection Law, etc., and lectures on labor management.
In each lecture and training workshop, we make every effort to hold a “fruitful” lecture and training workshop, not only sharing knowledge with participants but also adopting the methods of role-playing, case study and presentation by group to give participants an opportunity to think for themselves.
We serve as a legal adviser to a wide range of private junior and senior high schools, colleges and universities and vocational schools across Japan.
The details of an advisory agreement include various legal services, for example, everyday legal advice related to school affairs, handling of monster parents, response to Labor Standards Supervision Offices, handling of various types of harassment, holding of training workshops for teachers, legal advice for teachers, support for consultation desks on compliance, and response to labor unions (including attendance on collective bargaining). At the time of occurrence of an incident, we can offer a discounted fee depending on advisory fees.
The details of these services under an advisory agreement vary depending on advisory fees, but can be customized flexibly at the request of each school.
We instill a sense of reassurance through consultation at any time.