Administrative Review Of Blyth Public School Closure Completed
McGuinty Government Accepts Independent Facilitator's Report
Independent facilitator Margaret Wilson's report states that Avon Maitland District School Board did follow its locally developed accommodation review process in closing Blyth Public School.
The Ministry of Education approved the community's request for an administrative review of the board's process in September 2009 and now accepts the facilitator's report.
Wilson, a former registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Teachers, consulted with the local accommodation review committee, 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.
- Margaret Wilson has extensive experience in the education sector, including 17 years as a classroom teacher, over 20 years in senior executive positions at teacher federations and education organizations. In addition, she has served on many Ministry of Education committees and task forces.
“I want to thank everyone who co-operated with Ms. Wilson in this review. Public education is a partnership between parents and the community. This partnership only works if there is mutual respect and if everyone involved takes their responsibility to students seriously.”
“I appreciate the advice and input from the petitioners who clearly have a very strong sense of community and care deeply about their children. While there are strong feelings in Blyth about the decision to close the school and relocate the students, the board has acted responsibly to resolve multiple problems.”