Administrative Reviews to Begin in Halton District School Board
Ontario Appoints Margaret Wilson to Examine Accommodation Review Process
Margaret Wilson has been appointed as the independent facilitator to examine the accommodation review process undertaken by the Halton District School Board that resulted in the closure of two schools.
Wilson, a former Registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Teachers, will consult with local accommodation review committees, the school board and people who participated in the process. The mandate of an administrative review is to determine if the board followed its locally developed accommodation review process.
The Ministry of Education approved requests for an administrative review of the accommodation review process related to Robert Bateman High School and Lester B. Pearson High School, both in Burlington. Wilson will begin work the week of October 16 and will provide the Minister of Education with a final report upon completion of her review. The report's findings will be released to the school board and the public.
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 inclusion of the local community through representation on the Accommodation Review Committee and through public meetings.
- 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 and more than 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, and has previously been an independent facilitator for Administrative Reviews of school boards’ accommodation review processes.