In Canada, public education is a provincial responsibility.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Ontario’s public education system. Ontario’s Education Act sets out the duties and responsibilities of the Minister of Education, school boards, supervisory officers (superintendents), principals, teachers, parents and students.
The Minister of Education, the Honourable Laurel Broten, is appointed by the Premier of Ontario and is an elected member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP).
In Ontario, the Direction des politiques et programmes d’éducation en langue française ensures that the specific needs of Francophone school boards and colleges, as well as universities offering programs in French, are met.
Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
The EQAO is an independent government body that oversees the province-wide standardized testing of Grade 3, 6, 9 and 10 students. To better acquaint yourself with EQAO and the exceptional performance of students attending French-language schools, please visit this site.
The Ontario College of Teachers regulates the teaching profession.
There are 72 school boards in Ontario, including 31 English public boards, 29 English Catholic boards, 4 French public boards, and 8 French Catholic boards. To learn more about French-language school boards, click here.
Trustees are elected to the school board during municipal elections. They represent the interests of parents and students in their area. Two associations act as spokespersons: the Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques (AFOCSC) and the Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l’Ontario (ACEPO).
School superintendents, or “supervisory officers”, are members of the board staff responsible for a group of schools in each school board.
The school principal is responsible for all aspects of school management. Depending on the size of the school and the number of students, he or she can be assisted by a vice-principal and a support staff.
Teachers in Ontario must have a recognized teaching certificate in order to teach students in the public education system.
School councils provide advice to the principal and school board. Every school must have a school council, and members include parents, the principal, a teacher, a student (in high schools), a non-teaching staff member, and a representative from the community.