Education in Ontario
Here is an overview of the system in Ontario. All of its components work together to deliver quality education for your child.
Ministry of Education
Education is a responsibility of the provincial government. In Ontario, the Education Act outlines the responsibilities of school boards, principals, teachers, parents, and school councils. The Ministry of Education administers the Education Act, develops education policy and the provincial curriculum, and allocates funds to school boards. For more information, visit the Ministry of Education website.
Ontario’s 76 school boards provide free, universal education for all its students. These school boards are made up of:
- 34 English-language public boards (the Peel District School Board is one)
- 29 English-language Catholic boards and 8 French-language Catholic boards (open to all students who are Roman Catholic or have Roman Catholic parents)
- 4 French-language public boards (open to students whose first language is French)
There are also private schools in Ontario, which charge tuition.
The Peel District School Board, like every school board in Ontario, is governed by elected trustees. As a group, trustees are often referred to as the “school board.” Here are some board responsibilities:
- make policies for the board and schools
- prepare a budget and manage funds from the province for education
- determine the number, size and location of schools
- build, furnish and supervise schools
- provide education and teaching programs
- hire teachers and other staff
- approve school textbooks and learning materials
- establish a school council at every school
As school leaders, principals manage their staff and schools, supervise students, and evaluate the quality of instruction at their school, and student supervision. Depending on the size of a school, a vice-principal may be assigned to help the principal manage the school.
Teachers are responsible for preparing lesson plans, teaching classes, encouraging students in their studies, marking student work and progress, supervising students’ behaviour, and maintaining classroom discipline.
All Peel board teachers are certified to teach in Ontario, and are members of the Ontario College of Teachers. This group is the body with the authority to license, govern and regulate the teaching profession in Ontario.
Every Peel school has a school council, whose members include parents, school staff and community members. School councils meet regularly to discuss educational issues. They offer advice to the principal, talk about educational needs of the community, and offer a way for staff to share information about the school.
Schools can have another parent organization, such as a parent-teacher association, in addition to a school council.
Education Quality and Accountability Office
Your child will participate in provincial tests in grades 3, 6, 9 and 10. These tests provide information that the school can use to improve learning. The tests are developed and implemented by the Education Quality and Accountability Office. This office was created by the Ontario government to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of education in the province.