Ontario Boosting Opportunities for Students’ Long-Term Success
New Focus on Equity Will Better Support Students in Exploring Educational and Career Pathways
September 7, 2017
Ontario is making the education system fairer and more inclusive for all students by identifying and eliminating systemic barriers, and better supporting students in exploring pathways to work, college, apprenticeship or university.
Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, was in Mississauga today to release Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, a new three-year strategy to reduce systemic barriers and ensure that all students in Ontario can reach their full potential. The strategy includes:
- Introducing a renewed approach to Grade 9 in which all students are better able to explore pathways to work, college, apprenticeship, and university.
- Identifying and addressing disparities in suspension, expulsion, and exclusion rates amongst certain student populations.
- Enhancing other school and classroom practices to ensure that they reflect and respond to student and staff diversity, including more culturally relevant teaching resources, curriculum, and assessment.
- Enhancing diversity in hiring and promotion, and tying accountability for equity to the performance appraisals of principals, vice-principals and directors, to ensure that the diversity of teachers, staff and school system leaders reflects the diversity of students.
- Collecting and analyzing demographic data to more precisely address the systemic barriers to student success through data-informed decision-making.
- Applying an equity, inclusion and human rights perspective to internal organizational structures, policies, programs and practices.
The equity plan will address unintentional consequences of existing structures, policies, programs and practices that may disadvantage certain student populations, including racialized students, students experiencing poverty, Indigenous students, newcomers to Canada, students who identify as LGBTQ and Two-Spirited, children and youth in care, religious minorities, French language minorities, students with disabilities and students with special education needs.
Supporting equity for all students, educators and staff is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ensuring equity is one of the four goals for Ontario’s early years and education system, along with achieving excellence, promoting well-being, and enhancing public confidence.
- In the 2017 Budget, $49 million over the next three years was identified to develop and strengthen programs that support and promote student well-being.
- Ontario committed over $7 million in 2017-18 to support the implementation of the Equity Action Plan.
- The plan builds on the work the ministry and education partners have done since the introduction of the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy in 2009.
“Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan is a powerful blueprint that will strengthen our publicly funded education system by ensuring that all of Ontario’s students will have every opportunity to thrive and fulfill their potential, regardless of their personal circumstances. Together with our renewed focus on achievement and well-being, the school experience of Ontario students will be enhanced.”
“We are already at work, with partners in education, on implementing parts of this Plan. I believe that the time is right and based on conversations I have had with community organizations, I can sense an excitement and a renewed vigour about tackling some persistently difficult issues in our publicly funded education system, together.”
“Our children and youth deserve a school system that listens to the voices of children, adapts to their needs, and mirrors what society can be. We are not there yet. We support the Equity Action Plan as it moves from good intention to the creation of a culture of respect and inclusion in our schools.”