Ontario Strengthens Disciplinary Process for Teachers
Province Ensuring Safe Learning Environments for Children and Students
Ontario is protecting children and students by making the disciplinary process for school teachers more clear and transparent.
Today, Bill 37, the Protecting Students Act, 2016, passed third reading following a debate in the Ontario legislature.
The act and subsequent regulations will improve the investigation and disciplinary processes of the Ontario College of Teachers, reduce the potential for conflict of interest and help protect children, students and teachers by:
- Ensuring a teacher's certificate is revoked automatically if he or she has been found guilty of specified acts of sexual abuse or acts relating to child pornography
- Requiring school boards and other employers to inform the Ontario College of Teachers when they have restricted a teacher's duties or dismissed them for professional misconduct
- Allowing the Ontario College of Teachers to share information with the school board if the subject of a complaint poses an immediate risk to a student or child
- Requiring the college to publish all decisions made by its disciplinary committee
- Imposing new timelines to resolve cases more quickly and efficiently
Protecting the safety of children and students is part of Ontario's plan to build an education system where all students and educators can thrive and reach their full potential.
- The Ontario College of Teachers is an independent 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 June 2012, former Justice Patrick 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.
“Our priority is ensuring that children and youth develop into caring, confident and capable citizens. That is why we have taken an important step to strengthen our education system with the passage of the Protecting Students Act to make sure Ontario families continue to have the confidence that their children are safe and protected in school.”
“The majority of our educators do an excellent job supporting our children and providing them with the tools they need to succeed. However, for those who require discipline, there needs to be a fair and transparent process. The Protecting Students Act will strengthen the disciplinary processes at the Ontario College of Teachers and College of Early Childhood Educators to help protect our students and children.”