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Ontario Making Progress to Ensure Inclusive Education System

News Release

Ontario Making Progress to Ensure Inclusive Education System

Province Promoting Equity in Parent Engagement

Ministry of Education

Ontario is making progress towards ensuring the education system is more equitable and inclusive for all students and their families, by providing training to trustees and supporting parental engagement from Indigenous and racially or ethnically diverse communities.

Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education, and Kevin Flynn, MPP for Oakville, were at W. H. Morden Public School in Oakville this morning to make the announcement.

Since announcing its first-ever Education Equity Action Plan, Ontario has been making important strides to ensure equity across all aspects of publicly funded education. Examples of Ontario's progress include:

  • Training for Trustees on Equity, Ethics and Governance - providing intensive professional development to an initial 60 trustees from across the province to provide them with the information and skills development on the most pertinent ethical and equity governance issues facing Ontario's school boards, equipping them with the knowledge, strategies, tools and tactics to navigate challenging situations.
  • Collecting voluntary identity-based student data - working with 15 school boards to develop a consistent approach to data collection, including race, ethnicity and socio-economic status of their students. This first phase of work will inform the process for the collection of voluntary student data across the province, and is in alignment with the mandate of the Anti-Racism Directorate.

Applications are now being accepted until June 5, 2018, for Parents Reaching Out Grants for the next school year, with focus this year on equity and inclusion. Special consideration will be given to projects that support the engagement of parents from Indigenous, racially or ethnically diverse communities.

Ensuring an equitable and inclusive education system is part of Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • In 2009, the ministry launched the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, designed to support human rights as described in the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other relevant legislation.
  • The Education Equity Action Plan builds on the goals of Ontario’s 2009 Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy.
  • In the 2017-18 school year, the government funded 2,789 parent engagement projects. This includes 2,670 school council projects in the amount of $2.62 million and 119 regional/provincial projects in the amount of $1.15 million.
  • Since 2006, the government has awarded more than 22,000 Parents Reaching Out grants to school councils and more than 900 regional/provincial grants — a total investment of nearly $35 million to help increase parent involvement in publicly funded education.
  • Studies show that when parents are engaged in their children’s education, students are more likely to earn higher grades, have better behavior and social skills, and continue their education at a higher level.

Additional Resources


Indira Naidoo-Harris

“Every student should have the opportunity to succeed, regardless of background, identity or personal circumstances. Embracing equity is key to the success of our students, communities and our province. That is why we are working tirelessly to ensure equity and inclusion through Parents Reaching Out Grants, and strengthening connections between schools, parents and community services so that all our children succeed.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris

Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care

Kevin Flynn

“One of the most important elements of a child’s growth, well-being, and success in school comes from having parents and guardians who are involved, and I am pleased that the Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants have proven to be such a successful endeavour. The PRO program’s focus on equity demonstrates Ontario parents’ acknowledgement of the diversity that makes up our province and their commitment to passing the value of inclusivity to the next generation.”

Kevin Flynn

MPP, Oakville

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Education and Training