Changes to Ontario College of Teachers Act to protect students

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The government of Ontario have decided to take steps to protect students through changes to the Ontario College of Teachers Act and Early Childhood Educators Act.

“Our number one priority is the safety and security of all students and children. We took action to ensure no educator found guilty of sexual abuse can practice their profession with children and students by keeping these individuals out of our education and early childhood systems. Importantly, this move is retroactive and will ensure individuals found guilty of past sexual abuse are removed from our school, child care, and early years settings permanently,” Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education said in a statement.

“We will continue to act to protect every child in this province, which is why our government has made these changes apply retroactively and the OCT and ECE have revoked certification of members who are found guilty of sexual abuse involving touching or physical relations, and published all disciplinary decisions on their website. With these changes, our government is making clear that we will take a zero tolerance approach by preventing these individuals from teaching ever again in this province. We will continue to stand up for victims and protect the most vulnerable children.”

The Government of Ontario initiated a series of sweeping amendments and reforms to the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 and the Early Childhood Educators Act, 2007 to help keep schools and child care and early years settings in the province safe.

These changes, introduced as part of Budget 2020 and endorsed by Minister Lecce, came into force on December 8, 2020, these reforms will help to keep schools and child care and early years settings in the province safe by preventing individuals unfit to practice from continuing to work directly with students and children.

In addition to bolstering protections for children and students, changes are also being made to modernize the governance structure of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) to better enable it to regulate the teaching profession and make it more responsive to the public.

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