Effective March 3, 2008, amendments to section 11 of the School Act will come into force which provide a new avenue for the appeal of decisions and reconsiderations of boards of education. On the same day, a new appeals Regulation also comes into force, delineating the grounds upon which a student or parent of a student may appeal decisions and reconsiderations of boards of education.
The new sections 11.1 to 11.8 of the School Act provide that, subject to the regulations, a decision of a board of education made under section 11(6) of the School Act, or a reconsideration by a board pursuant section 11.5, may be appealed to the superintendent of achievement.
The new appeals Regulation specifies the grounds for appeal available to parents and students. Under the new Regulation, a student or parent of a student may appeal a decision made by a board of education under section 11(6) of the School Act (only if the decision significantly affects the education, health or safety of a student), or a reconsideration made by a board of education under section 11.5 of the School Act, provided that the decision or reconsideration:
- relates to the student’s expulsion or suspension from an educational program;
- requires the student, as a disciplinary measure, to complete all or part of an educational program by distributed learning, despite the fact that all or part of the educational program and space and facilities for the student are available in a school, other than a distributed learning school, in the board’s school district,
- determines that it is not necessary to provide a student with an individual education plan because the student is not a student with special needs, or an exception under section 2 (2) of the Individual Education Plan Order applies to the student;
- relates to the requirement to offer to consult with parents under the Special Needs Students Order or the Individual Education Plan Order;
- relates to a complaint by a student or a parent of the student, against another student, respecting intimidation, bullying, harassment of or use or threat of use of weapons or other forms of violence against the student by that other student; or
- relates to a removal or exclusion of the student under section 91(5)(b) of the School Act.
The Regulation also provides that a student or parent may appeal a decision or reconsideration respecting the allocation of resources to the student’s educational program, only to the extent that the decision or reconsideration relates to the application of the board’s financial hardship policy, established under section 82.4 of the School Act, to the student.
(Click here for link to Bill 20)
(Click here for link to Appeals Regulation)