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Ontario College of Teachers applauds long-awaited changes to better protect Ontario’s students

November 06 2020

(Toronto) - The Ontario College of Teachers applauds legislation that further safeguards students, and modernizes the operations of the College.

The legislation mirrors and reinforces numerous recommendations the College’s Council has made to the government in recent years. This includes mandatory medical assessments, and changes to the College’s governance structure.

“Council has worked diligently on recommendations that protect students. The College looks forward to working with the province on the reforms,” says the College’s Council Chair, Nicole van Woudenberg, OCT. “Council will review and discuss the proposed amendments, as additional information becomes available.”

“The protection of the public interest and the safeguarding of students is critical to our role,” says the College’s Deputy Registrar, Chantal Bélisle, OCT. “The modernization of our Act will provide the tools necessary for the College to fulfill its mandate and mission.”

Safeguarding students

The College has always operated within the legislation of the day. Any proposed changes to our legislation that enhance or strengthen existing measures to protect students are welcomed. “The College looks forward to the opportunity of reviewing the proposed reforms to our Complaint, Investigation and Discipline process,” adds Bélisle.

“We’ve always been interested in furthering the education of Ontario’s teaching professionals,” says van Woudenberg, in response to the government’s proactive sexual abuse prevention program.

Governance

In 2018, the College commissioned an independent review to find efficiencies within its governance structure. The review resulted in 37 recommendations, the vast majority of which were endorsed by Council, which is composed of elected and appointed members.

The government has tabled most of the recommendations. Once passed, the legislation will enable the College to complete a corporate governance restructuring that will serve as a model for professional self-regulation in Ontario.

These changes include equal public and member representation on Council and statutory committees.

Council and committee members will be selected from a diverse group of individuals, including members of the profession, with attributes and competencies to govern the teaching profession in the public interest. This will be achieved through an open and transparent application process.

Furthermore, the proposed changes will enable the College to dispense with costly elections that resulted in low candidate and voter participation. Once enacted, the legislation will dissolve the College’s election process that is currently underway.

About the Ontario College of Teachers

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 more than 234,000 members in publicly funded schools and institutions across Ontario. The College is Canada’s largest self-regulatory body.

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For more information:

Brian Jamieson, Senior Communications Officer
416-961-8800, ext. 655
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 655

Gabrielle Barkany, OCT, Senior Communications Officer (Bilingual)
416-961-8800, ext. 621
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 621

Olivia Yu, Senior Communications Officer
416-961-8800, ext. 620
Toll-free 1-888-534-2222, ext. 620

Government news release and Government action plan (see page 236)

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info@oct.ca

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