Ontario Re-Introduces Legislation to Protect Students
Province Committed to More Transparent Disciplinary Process in Education Sector
Ontario is re-introducing legislation to protect children and students by making the disciplinary process for the province's educators 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 children, 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 employers, including 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 or employer if the subject of a complaint poses an immediate risk to a student or child
- Requiring the college to publish all decisions from its discipline committee
- Improving timelines for the investigation and consideration of complaints.
Protecting the safety of our children is a part of the province's plan to build an education system where all students and educators can reach their full potential.
- The Ontario College of Teachers is an independent, regulatory body that is responsible for regulating the teaching profession in the province.
- In June 2012, The Honourable Patrick J. LeSage released a report that contained 49 recommendations to modernize the Ontario College of Teachers’ investigation and discipline practices.
- These recommendations were also relevant to the College of Early Childhood Educators, an independent, regulatory body that governs early childhood educators in the public interest.
- In August 2015, amendments to the Early Childhood Educators Act came into force to address recommendations coming out of the LeSage Report.
“Educators are professionals who care about the safety, well-being and achievement of their students and children. 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 colleges 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.”