Government Continues to Improve Education
Legislation Will Keep Children and Students Safe and Help Support Teachers in Teaching Fundamental Math Skills
TORONTO - Ontario's government is standing up for students and parents by protecting and modernizing the province's education system. The Legislature has passed legislative amendments that will help keep classrooms safer than ever before and also ensure that children and students are better supported in their learning.
"Families need peace of mind knowing that their government is putting students and families first," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education. "That's why it's so important that these changes received Royal Assent this week. These changes will improve student safety and ensure that every student will have the support they need to be successful in school."
Bill 48, the Safe and Supportive Classrooms Act, 2019, received Royal Assent on Wednesday. This act amends the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 (OCTA), as well as the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 (ECEA), the Teaching Profession Act (TPA), and the Education Act.
These legislative amendments will:
- Require the Discipline Committees of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) to revoke a member's certificate of registration for any act of "sexual abuse" of a student or child, as defined in the acts that govern the Colleges and their members
- Provide regulation-making authority for the Lieutenant Governor in Council to prescribe other acts of a sexual nature that are prohibited under the federal Criminal Code that must result in the mandatory revocation of a regulated educator's certificate of registration if the member is found guilty of such an act by the Colleges' Discipline Committees
- Help families experience a more consistent, fair and transparent process when requesting that their child be accompanied by a service animal in a publicly funded school in Ontario
- Allow for changes to be made to the size and composition of the OCT's Council
- Dissolve the Public Interest Committee of the OCT
- Make a new requirement for registering with the OCT that involves the successful completion of a math content knowledge test
- Provide authority for the minister to issue policies on service animals in school to provide school boards with guidance when developing their own policies on service animals.
The Ministry of Education has also launched its consultation on service animals. Through an online survey, students, families, school boards and community partners have an opportunity to provide input on the draft policy directive, which is intended to help school boards manage how service animals are used in Ontario's publicly funded schools.
"We are putting our province on a path back to balance so that we can protect the core services that matter most - like education - while restoring fiscal sustainability to the people of Ontario," said Minister Thompson. "We will continue to focus on keeping our promises to the people."