Education Minister Stephen Lecce Addresses the Eighth College Council
December 03 2020
At the Council meeting on December 3, 2020, Education Minister Stephen Lecce commended the College for its commitment to protecting students and modernizing College operations.
Accompanied by MPP Sam Oosterhoff, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education, Minister Lecce expressed his appreciation for the work the College has done to advance changes that will further safeguard students that are reflected in Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020.
The Bill reinforces many of the recommendations Council has made in recent years.
“A strong, modernized College would be able to make student achievement and student safety a priority, and the public will continue to have confidence in the College’s ability to enhance high-quality teaching and the high standards of conduct,” Lecce said. “These changes are all about ensuring students are in school settings that are protected and safe, and that the public has confidence in the publicly funded [school] system and regulated teachers.”
The Minister discussed the regulatory amendments made under the Ontario College of Teachers Act that protect students, as well as those that highlight the value that professional experience brings to the classroom through the recognition of technological qualifications.
“These changes will support student safety by ensuring that students are taught by highly qualified, competent and regulated teachers,” he said.
Regarding College governance, Minister Lecce applauded the College’s efforts to modernize its governance structure. He described the College as a “key partner with an important mandate.” Amendments included in the Bill would see Council membership move from election to competency-based selection, with the number of Council members decreasing from 37 to 18, including nine members of the public and nine members of the profession.
These advancements, he said, would help to ensure a more diverse representation of Council and its committees, and would take into consideration the knowledge, skills and expertise of College members.
“We are proposing to modernize the governance structure and these changes would enhance the ability to effectively regulate the teaching profession in the best interest of our students, whom we are here to serve.”