College to release details of disciplinary review
June 07 2012
Ontario College of Teachers welcomes recommendations to improve transparency and efficiency
June 7, 2012 (Toronto) – The Ontario College of Teachers will act swiftly on recommendations in a comprehensive review of its disciplinary process and practices, Registrar and CEO Michael Salvatori, OCT said today.
A 76-page report by former Ontario Chief Justice Patrick Lesage – released at noon today by the College – makes 49 recommendations, many calling on the teacher regulatory body, the provincial government and district school boards to improve reporting and information-sharing processes to protect the public interest.
The College commissioned the Honourable Patrick J. LeSage C.M., O.ONT., Q.C., last summer to conduct an independent review of its disciplinary processes and the publication of information relating to teacher misconduct.
Mr. LeSage, an Order of Canada member for his contributions to Ontario’s justice system, has presided over some of Canada’s most publicized and complex cases. He has served on a number of commissions and has conducted reviews including that of Ontario’s police complaints system and of the Canadian military justice provisions of the National Defence Act.
“I want to thank Mr. LeSage for his insightful and very helpful review and recommendations,” said Salvatori. “His focus on improving the transparency and efficiency of our disciplinary process provides a welcome roadmap for reforms that will improve our ability to govern our profession in the public interest.
“More than 60 per cent of the LeSage report’s recommendations will require changes to the law that we have worked under for the past 15 years. We look forward to working with the government to implement these legislative changes.
“In the future, a parent who is concerned about a teacher will have their concerns resolved more quickly and will be better informed about the case,” said the College Registrar. “The recommendation for a mechanism that would allow the fast-tracking of cases where there has been a criminal conviction is one that will be very welcome in our schools and our communities.”
The LeSage report also recommends:
- tighter timelines for reporting information about teacher misconduct or incompetence from boards to the College, from the College to members, and from the College to the public
- disclosing the names of all College members found guilty of misconduct
- posting information that a member is facing misconduct charges on the College’s public register, Find a Teacher
- expanding the roster of panel members who hear misconduct cases to include more non-teachers
- holding hearings on consecutive days until a case is completed
- requiring that written decisions be provided within 60 days of the conclusion of a hearing.
In January, the College improved public access by posting online more than 600 disciplinary decisions that had previously been available in the College library or through Quicklaw.
“Nothing is more important or sacrosanct than the safety and well being of students,” said Liz Papadopoulos, OCT, an elementary school teacher who chairs the College Council. “It is our duty to protect the public interest. Earning the public’s trust is our job.
“Our Council has already begun its careful consideration of the report to determine a plan and timeline to tackle the recommendations, including those that involve changes to legislation and require action from the province,” said the Council Chair.
The full report and backgrounder is available at www.oct.ca.
The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher education programs affecting its 235,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is the largest self-regulatory body in Canada.
For more information:
416-961-8800, ext. 655
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655