Protecting Ontario Students
Ontario Committed to More Clear, Transparent Teacher Disciplinary Decisions
Ontario is introducing legislation to protect students by making the disciplinary process for the province's teachers more clear and transparent.
If passed, the Protecting Students Act and subsequent regulations would improve the Ontario College of Teachers' investigation and disciplinary processes, reduce the potential of conflict of interest and help protect students and teachers by:
- Ensuring a teacher's certificate is automatically revoked if he or she has been found guilty of sexual abuse or acts relating to child pornography
- Requiring school boards to inform the college when they have restricted a teacher's duties or dismissed him or her for misconduct
- Allowing the college to share information with the school board if the subject of a complaint poses an immediate risk to a student
- Requiring the college to publish all decisions from its discipline committee
- Imposing new timelines to resolve cases more quickly and efficiently
- Avoiding potential conflicts of interest by preventing union or association representatives from sitting on the college's council, where college policy is developed and approved
- Requiring that a disciplinary panel include a principal or vice-principal when hearing a matter relating to the conduct of a principal or vice-principal.
- The Ontario College of Teachers is an independent, regulatory body that is responsible for regulating the teaching profession in the province.
- In September 2011, the college appointed the Honourable Patrick LeSage to review its investigation and disciplinary procedures and dispute resolution program.
- In January 2012, the college began to post decisions of disciplinary proceedings on its website.
- In June 2012, former Justice Patrick LeSage released a report that contained 49 recommendations to modernize the Ontario College of Teachers’ investigation and discipline practices.
“We know that the vast majority of our teachers are professionals who care about their students’ safety, well-being, and achievement. But in those rare circumstances when discipline is required, it is important for Ontario families to be confident in the action that is taken. This proposed legislation will strengthen the authority of the Ontario College of Teachers to take action, while ensuring the process is open and transparent for everyone involved.”
“We have been working collaboratively with the government to strengthen the disciplinary processes at the college. We share the same commitment to ensure that teachers in our schools are providing the best support to students. And in those rare cases where disciplinary action is needed, a fair and transparent process will be in place”