Rarotonga, 2010

Simon's Legal Resources


ADMINISTRATIVE LAW | SPPA / Fairness (Administrative)

home / about / Democracy, Law and Duty / testimonials / Donate law books! / Conditions of Use

Education - Education Act - General

. Monteiro v. CEO Financial Services Regulatory Authority

In Monteiro v. CEO Financial Services Regulatory Authority (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court considered pension claims by a long-term night-school teacher lacking credentials:
[5] As set out below, the relevant statutory authorities required a person wishing to accrue Credits under the Plan to be “qualified as a teacher”. To be so qualified, the person was required to have been granted one of the following documents by the Minister of Education:
. a Certificate of Qualification, qualifying a person to teach in Ontario;

. a Letter of Standing, allowing a teacher qualified in another jurisdiction to teach in Ontario; or

. a Letter of Permission (“LOP”), granting an unqualified person the right to teach in Ontario for a limited period of time when no qualified teacher was available.

Letters of Permission

[15] The term, “teacher” was defined under the relevant version of the Education Act[4] as a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. To become a member, the College must have certified the person as qualified to teach in Ontario's publicly funded schools.

[16] Under s. 8(1)(j) of the Education Act, the Minister of Education was entitled to grant a LOP to a school board, authorizing it “to employ as a teacher a person not qualified as such if the Minister is satisfied that no teacher is available, but a letter of permission shall be effective only for the period, not exceeding one year, that the Ministry may specify therein”.

[17] Regulations under the Education Act[5] also allowed school boards to hire unqualified persons to teach for up to ten days in an emergency. Those provisions are not relevant to this court’s consideration.

[18] The requirements for granting an LOP were very strict. As set out in O. Reg. 269 under the Education Act, at para. 49:
a. a school board was required to provide the Ministry of Education with proof that it has “advertised at least three times, stating the salary, in a daily newspaper having provincial circulation in Ontario a position for which a teacher is required under the regulations”.

b. When the job position was for a term commencing on the first day of school in September and continuing until at least December 31, at least one such advertisement must have appeared after August 1 of that year.

c. If the position was for the second school term, commencing January 1, it must have appeared at least once after October 31 of the previous year.

d. Further, seven days must have passed since the date of the final advertisement, with no qualified teacher having applied for the position or no teacher who has applied for the position having accepted it.

e. That LOP was valid for a period of no more than one school year.
. Del Grande v. Toronto Catholic District School Board

In Del Grande v. Toronto Catholic District School Board (Div Court, 2023) the Divisional Court characterizes the nature and purpose of the Education Act:
[53] In addition, while the Education Act requires that a board enact a code of conduct, it does not prescribe the standards or content. This demonstrates that the legislature intended for conduct issues to fall within the Board’s authority, which enables the Board to act in a flexible and dynamic manner, responsive to the community it serves.

[54] The purpose of the Education Act is to foster a strong public education system, which is the foundation of a “prosperous, caring and civil society.” Education Act, s. 0.1(1). Subsection 0.1(2) further states that the “purpose of education is to provide students with the opportunity to realize their potential and develop into highly skilled, knowledgeable, caring citizens who contribute to their society.” The Board, as a “partner[] in the education sector” has “a role to play in enhancing student achievement and well-being, closing gaps in student achievement and maintaining confidence in the province’s publicly funded education systems.” Education Act, s. 0.1(3).

[55] The focus of the Education Act is thus the public education system and the well-being and achievement of the students who participate in it, with the goal of ensuring they develop into caring, contributing citizens. It is the Board, and therefore its Trustees, who are in service to these objectives and not the public education system that serves a trustee’s objectives. This is made clear by the responsibilities of the Board under s. 169.1(1) of the Education Act, which includes, among others, promoting student achievement and well-being; the prevention of bullying; and “a positive school climate that is inclusive and accepting of all pupils of any race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability[.]” The responsibilities under s. 169.1(1) of the Act are reinforced under s. 218.1, which requires that board members carry out their responsibilities in a manner that assists the board in fulfilling its duties, including under s. 169.1 of the Act, to maintain focus on student achievement and well-being, and to comply with the board’s code of conduct.

[56] The Board’s role in enhancing student well-being and maintaining public confidence under s. 0.1(3) of the Act is best served by ensuring good governance and adherence to the Code of Conduct. The preamble to the Code of Conduct recognizes that TCDSB Trustees have been entrusted with the education of all students in the community they serve and that the public is “entitled to expect the highest standard from the school trustees that it elects.” The Board should be responsive to the community and students it serves. In view of the legislative objectives, the Board and Trustees’ duties and the need for public confidence in the public education system, it was reasonable for the Board to apply the Reconsideration Provision to the Applicant’s Code of Conduct matter and to consider whether it might have got it wrong the first time.


The author has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this Isthatlegal.ca webpage.