Administrative Review Completed At Thames Valley District School Board
Ministry of Education Accepts Independent Facilitator’s Report
The Ministry of Education accepts independent facilitator Dave Cooke's report examining the accommodation review processes for two elementary schools of the Thames Valley District School Board.
The report states that the board did follow its locally developed accommodation review processes for Caradoc South Public School in Melbourne and Metcalfe Central Public School in Strathroy.
The ministry approved the request for an administrative review of the board's process. Cooke, a former Ontario Education Minister, consulted with the local accommodation review committees, the school board and people who participated in the process.
Decisions about student accommodations -- including school closures -- are the responsibility of locally elected school boards. Boards were required to develop accommodation review processes that comply with the government's Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline, which emphasizes consultation, transparency and local accountability. Administrative reviews help communities and boards fulfill those core principles.
- The ministry’s Pupil Accommodation Review Guideline mandates minimum timelines for consultation and an evaluation process based on the value of a school to its students and the community.
- The guideline helps direct boards during pupil accommodation reviews, which are required in most circumstances when a school closure is considered.
- The ministry has no authority to overturn school closure decisions or delay their implementation.
- Dave Cooke has performed other independent reviews of school closure processes, providing valuable feedback to school boards, communities and the ministry.
“I want to thank everyone who co-operated with Mr. Cooke in this review. It is clear that the board and the community take their responsibility to provide the best possible accommodations and programs for its students very seriously.””
“The closing of any school is an emotional experience and understanding this emotion makes me applaud the communities for their efforts to find ways to keep these schools open. The evidence is overwhelming that the board did not violate its policy and procedures.”