Reports on recent College activities and a selection of announcements, events and initiatives in the wider education community.
Government dissolves BC College of Teachers
The British Columbia government has introduced legislation to dissolve the BC College of Teachers and replace it with a 15-member teachers’ council that represents all sectors of the education community.
The government will absorb teacher licensing and accreditation functions, and a new nine-member disciplinary and professional-conduct board, drawn from the council and headed by a government-appointed commissioner, will handle certification appeals and complaints about teacher misconduct. Three-member panels, which will include only one BC Teachers’ Federation member, will rule in discipline hearings.
Seven of the new council’s 15 members will represent trustees, superintendents, principals and vice-principals, parents, the First Nations Education Steering Committee, independent schools and BC deans. Teachers will retain majority control with five regionally elected teachers and three appointed by the BC Teachers’ Federation.
The legislation answers last year’s report by former education deputy minister Don Avison, who found that the BC College was divided and had lost the confidence of the province’s education community.
“The goals of this legislation are to raise the stature of the teaching profession and increase public confidence in the profession’s disciplinary processes,” said BC Education Minister George Abbott. “These changes will strengthen the teaching profession as well as increase accountability and transparency.”
In contrast, self-regulation in Ontario is expanding. Recent colleges have been created to regulate social workers and early childhood educators. As well, 40 different trades, including hairstyling, mechanics and plumbing, have been included in provincial self-regulation plans.
“The Ontario College of Teachers is a vital part of a highly developed professional self-regulation system that includes doctors, engineers, nurses and teachers and serves the people of Ontario very well,” said Registrar Michael Salvatori, OCT.
“We believe that the vast majority of teachers and education leaders in this province have come to support professional self-regulation and our role and the critical responsibility we have to protect the public interest,” Council Chair Liz Papadopoulos, OCT, said.