Driving Student Success by Doubling the Number of Guidance Counsellors for Grade 7 and 8 Students
Ontario Adding 2,000 New Education Workers in Total to Schools
Ontario is making a significant investment to nearly double the number of guidance teachers for Grade 7 and 8 students, and help better prepare kids for the transition to high school and the fast-changing world beyond.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was with Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, MPP Ottawa-Orléans at École secondaire publique Louis-Riel, in Ottawa today, to announce an investment of more than $120 million over the next three years that will add more than 450 new guidance teachers across the province.
For Grade 7 and 8 students, this means additional support as they prepare to transition to high school, as well as early exposure to positive role models and diverse career options, as they explore continuing their education through apprenticeships, college, university and in the workplace.
In total, Ontario will add 2,000 new education workers with Budget 2018, which include:
- Educational assistants (EAs) to support students with exceptionally high needs
- Specialists, including social workers, psychologists, behavioural specialists and speech language pathologists to support boards in expanding special education programs and services — ultimately benefitting all students
- Up to 400 new mental health workers at Ontario's secondary schools, to ensure every high school student will have access to mental health supports at school.
This builds on the government's historic investments in Ontario's publicly funded education system, which have put more teachers in classrooms since 2013, capped or reduced class sizes, and completed the roll-out of full-day kindergarten, making it available to every four- and five-year-old in the province.
Putting more education workers and supports in our schools is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free licensed preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- Ontario’s high school graduation rate is at an all-time high of 86.5%, up from just 68% in 2004 — an increase of nearly 20 percentage points.
- Since 2003, the province has added over 40,000 additional teachers and education workers to support student success despite stable enrolment.
- Since 2003, the province has provided nearly $18.3 billion in school infrastructure, building or rebuilding one in six schools in Ontario.
- 100 per cent of primary classes have 23 or fewer students, compared to 64 per cent in 2003-04. 90 per cent of primary classes have 20 or fewer students, compared to just 31 per cent in 2003-04.
- Class-size caps have been added to full-day kindergarten, which will be further reduced in the 2018-19 school year.
- Beginning in 2017–18, average class size for Grades 4 to 8 is being reduced from 26 to 24.5.
“We’ve heard from students, parents and educators that Grades 7 and 8 are crucial years, where more support would go a long way. We’ve listened. We’re doubling the number of guidance councellors available in our elementary schools to help prepare students for success in high school and expose them to role models and positive examples of a diversity of careers. All of the 2,000 new education workers we’re hiring in our schools are about giving our students the support they need to succeed in school and get onto a path to a happy and healthy life.”
“This major investment in our publicly funded education system ensures that every student in Ontario has the support they need to succeed in the classroom and in the world. These funds will help to build an education system that is inclusive, fair and promotes well-being. These investments will support vital programs and services for students so that they can reach their full potential.”