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June 1999

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  • Highlights of the 1998 Annual Report
    Financial Statements
  • Discipline Panel Decisions
  • Faculty of Ed Applications Rise Sharply
  • Council Requests Update on Letters of Permission, Emergency Provisions

 

Ontario College of Teachers
Highlights of the 1998 Annual Report

The Ontario College of Teachers is the self-governing body of the teaching profession. It was created by the Ontario College of Teachers Act, 1996 and is governed by its Council, which is made up of 17 College members elected by practising teachers and 14 members of the public appointed by Order-In-Council.

The College officially came into existence in May 1997, so 1998 was its first full year of operations. During the year, the College continued to work with employers to ensure that only registered and qualified teachers were placed in charge of Ontario’s classrooms.

In February, the College undertook a massive verification of teachers’ credentials by matching school board payments for teachers against the College registry. The exercise identified about 2,200 individuals who were either not registered, held expired interim certificates, were suspended for non-payment of fees in 1997, had a Letter of Eligibility but no interim certificate, or were graduates of Ontario faculties in 1997 and had not completed the application process.

A special team of College staff worked with school board staff and the affected individuals to clear up the registration problems. At the end of the audit, 108 individuals were either transferred to non-teaching duties or terminated by their employers. Fraud investigators from two police forces were called in to follow up on documents submitted by two teachers after College staff discovered that the documents they had submitted were forged.

The College’s first disciplinary hearings were held in April. The sessions marked the first time that teachers’ disciplinary hearings were held in public.

The teaching profession broke new ground in teacher education in the spring when accreditation teams from the College arrived at three faculties of education to implement the newly-developed initial accreditation process. Each university in the pilot round – Laurentian, Nipissing and Queen’s – provided the College with information on program history and development, the philosophy and conceptual framework of the programs, administrative information about teacher candidates, faculty and resources, admission criteria, curriculum and graduation requirements.

Public accountability is an important part of the College’s mandate. On May 30, the College’s first-ever annual meeting was held at our facilities in Toronto. The meeting provided an opportunity for committee chairs to report on their activities in 1997 and for members of the profession and the general public to ask questions.

At its meeting in September, Council approved a policy requiring applicants for registration to seek a criminal record check from their local police service. The policy also requires that new applicants make a declaration about any past offences that might affect their suitability for teaching, as well as resignations to avoid discipline in other jurisdictions. The new policy will apply to about 7,000 applicants annually.

The new criminal record screening policy will ensure that applicants for membership are worthy of the trust placed in them by students, parents and their professional colleagues.

In December, the College released a study showing that the profession must prepare for a massive turnover in the province’s teaching population. For the first time ever, data in the College registry allowed researchers to predict not only how many teachers will retire, but what they are qualified to teach and where in the province they live. The data reveals that shortages will hit almost every subject area and every part of the province. Forty-one thousand teachers will retire in just five years and more than 78,000 over the next 10 years.

College membership rose to 172,507, almost 10,000 more than forecast, and an increase of 7,408 over 1997. Revenues grew by nearly $2 million. Expenses were up by about $3.5 million, mainly because the College operated for 12 months in 1998 compared to seven months in 1997.

There were three changes on Council in 1998. Frances Hill, an independent school representative from Pickering College, was replaced by Ron Rambarran the vice-principal of Columbia International College in Hamilton. Lynn Daigneault, a former superintendent with the North York Board of Education, was replaced by Bill Bryce, a superintendent with the Thames Valley District School Board, and Alfred Lorenzi, a public member from St. Catharines, was replaced by Jim Sherlock, a public member from Burlington.

The Executive Committee

This statutory committee manages and directs the affairs of the College between Council meetings. It ensures that Council functions efficiently and effectively by reviewing committee materials and making policy recommendations to Council.

Committee Activities

The committee developed several guidelines and procedures, including:

  • teleconference and travel guidelines for Council members
  • procedures to facilitate Council’s business
  • the process for the recruitment of a deputy registrar
  • policies for payment of expert witnesses
  • definitions for statute, regulation, bylaw, policy and procedure
  • the College’s salary administration program
  • a program to recognize members who have retired from the profession.

The committee developed, for Council approval, a procedure for investigating complaints against Council members who are members of the College. On referral from Council, it also reviewed the practice of publishing on the web site the names of members scheduled to appear before the Discipline Committee.

At the request of Council, the committee established a task force to develop a policy for criminal records screening. It also proposed amendments to the bylaws of the College concerning the criminal records screening policy.

The committee studied the need for more francophone representation on panels and proposed various remedies including the appointment of francophone Council members by the minister and amendments to the Act, regulations and bylaws.

The committee made several appointments in 1998, including:

  • French-speaking Council members to accreditation panels
  • members of Council to the Nominations Committee and the Quality Assurance Committee
  • additional members to the Human Resources Advisory Subcommittee
  • special investigators under Section 36 of the Ontario College of Teachers Act
  • members to various committees to fill vacancies created by the resignation of Council members.

The Discipline Committee

The Discipline Committee rules on any allegation of incompetence or professional misconduct on the part of a College member. Professional misconduct is defined in the regulations. Complaints are referred to the committee by the Investigation Committee, the Council or the Executive Committee. Decisions are based on evidence placed before the committee in a hearing. Hearings are normally open to the public.

Where the committee finds a member guilty of professional misconduct or incompetence, it may do one or more of
the following:

  • direct the Registrar to revoke a certificate
  • direct the Registrar to suspend a certificate for up to two years
  • direct the Registrar to impose conditions or limitations on a certificate
  • impose a suspended penalty. The penalty may be waived if certain conditions are met in a specified time
  • require that the member be reprimanded or counselled by the committee or its delegate. This penalty may be temporarily or indefinitely recorded on the register
  • impose a fine of up to $5,000
  • publish its order, in detail or in summary, with or without the member’s name, in the College’s official publication
  • fix costs to be paid by the member of the College.

Committee Activities

The Discipline Committee met twice to review procedural matters and issues arising from hearings. The committee reviewed the publication before and after hearings of information on the identity of a member and the allegations facing that member. The committee recommended to Council that the current practice continue.

Committee members considered the influence that the criminal conviction of a College member may have on a discipline hearing. They also made recommendations about the committee’s ability to offer a francophone panel and a francophone hearing to a member.

Panels of the Discipline Committee held a total of 16 hearings or partial hearings. Eleven members had their certificates revoked, and three had their hearings adjourned into 1999. One case was adjourned twice.

The Investigation Committee

The Investigation Committee receives and investigates complaints against members of the College about professional misconduct, incompetence or incapacity. The complaints must not be frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process. The committee helps the College fulfill its duty to serve and protect the public interest.

Members of the public, members of the College, the Minister of Education and Training and the Registrar of the College may make complaints. A formal complaint must be in writing and filed with the Registrar. When the investigation is completed, members of the committee, sitting in panels of at least three, can:

  • dismiss a complaint
  • refer a matter to the Discipline Committee or the Fitness to Practise Committee
  • caution or admonish a member
  • take any action that is consistent with the governing legislation.

Committee Activities

Panels of the committee met eight times and considered 83 complaints. Almost 40 per cent of the complaints were referred to the Discipline Committee or the Fitness to Practise Committee.

The full committee met four times to consider legal opinions, procedures, motions proposed to Council and training for committee members.

The committee is developing an alternative dispute resolution program to provide complainants and members with alternatives to the formal hearing process.

Complaints Statistics

In 1998, the Investigation Committee received a total of 102 complaints, made by 117 complainants and containing 110 different allegations. In addition, the Investigation Committee disposed of 77 complaints, 47 of which were originally filed in 1997.

The table below contains more detailed information about the complaints.

Origin of Complaints 1

Number Percentage

Parents

62 53

Registrar

30 25.6
Member of College 20 17.1

Students

3 2.6
Member of public 2 1.7
Total 117 100
Nature of Complaints 2 Number Percentage

Conduct unbecoming a member

31 28.2

Failure to perform duties as a teacher or principal

19 17.2

Assault (sexual and physical3)

17 15.5
Other unlawful conduct4 8 7.2

Verbal abuse

7 6.4

Inadequate supervision of member

6 5.5

Discrimination

6 5.5

Breach of employment contract

5 4.5

Incapacity

2 1.8
Other 9 8.2
Total 1105 100
Disposition of Complaints Number Percentage

Referral to Discipline Committee

29 37.7

Dismissed

24 31.2

File closed6

11 14.3

Complaint withdrawn

7 9

Referral to Fitness to Practise Committee

4 5.2

No referral, but member cautioned

2 2.6
Total 77 100

The Fitness to Practise Committee

This committee rules on any allegation of incapacity on the part of a College member. Cases may be referred to the committee by the Investigation Committee, the Council or the Executive Committee.

When a complaint is referred, the committee holds a hearing to determine whether physical or mental conditions or disorders exist that make a member unfit to carry out professional responsibilities. Hearings are not normally open to the public.

If the committee finds a member to be incapacitated, it may:

  • direct the Registrar to revoke a certificate
  • direct the Registrar to suspend a certificate for up to two years
  • direct the Registrar to impose conditions or limitations on a certificate
  • impose a suspended penalty, which may be waived if certain terms and conditions are met in a specified time.

Committee Activities

The committee met four times to prepare for or review hearings. The committee continued to draft rules of procedure for conducting hearings and it continued training in decision writing. The committee also developed and approved templates for decision writing.

The committee conducted four hearings into allegations of incapacity against members. In three cases, the members and the prosecution developed agreed statements of facts and agreed dispositions. The committee accepted the dispositions. In the fourth case, the member made only a written submission.

The Registration Appeals Committee

This statutory committee allows applicants who have been denied registration in the Ontario College of Teachers or who have had restrictions placed upon their teaching certificate to appeal those decisions.

Committee Activities

The committee scheduled meetings based on the number of applications for review and the date those applications were received. The committee met five times in 1998.

The committee received 18 applications from teachers who had been denied membership based on the evaluation of their academic and teacher education credentials. After reviewing documents provided by the College and by the applicants, the members decided to uphold the Registrar’s decision in nine cases. One case was withdrawn and the fee refunded. Two cases are on hold pending receipt of information requested by the College. Six cases, received after the last meeting, were on the agenda for a February 25, 1999 meeting.

In addition to the discussion of applications submitted for review, committee members reviewed and refined the guidelines for processing applications.

The Executive Committee referred the issue of denial of membership based on a criminal record to the Registration Appeals Committee. Members agreed that the committee should handle appeal of these decisions with staff input from the Investigations and Hearings Department. The committee drafted guidelines for processing these cases.

The Accreditation Committee

The Accreditation Committee develops and implements processes to approve pre-service and in-service teacher education programs and providers.

Committee Activities

Pre-service Teacher Education
Two subcommittees, the Pre-service Program Review Subcommittee and the Accreditation Process Development Subcommittee, developed the Initial Accreditation Handbook for use in the initial accreditation pilot phase of the Accreditation Committee. Each subcommittee was made up of members of the Accreditation Committee, representatives nominated by the Ontario Association of Deans of Education and members of the College at large. The subcommittees worked closely with subcommittees of the Standards of Practice and Education Committee who were developing the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

For phase one of the project, accreditation panels were formed to conduct the initial accreditation reviews at each of three faculties of education: Queen’s University, Nipissing University and Laurentian University (French language). Members of Council, a member of the College at large and a member nominated by the faculty under review made up the panels. Training sessions were conducted in both English and French for all panelists. Accreditation reviews took place in early spring. The Accreditation Committee reviewed the panel reports and recommendations in June and directed the Registrar to inform the faculties of the accreditation awards. The awards were published in the September edition of Professionally Speaking/Pour parler profession.

Immediately after the visit by each panel, participants, panelists and an external evaluator evaluated the accreditation process. The Pre-service Program Review Subcommittee and the Accreditation Process Development Subcommittee held a final joint meeting to review all the evaluations and make recommendations for changes to the handbook. In October, the Accreditation Committee approved the second edition of the handbook for use in the second phase of the pilot project. Four faculties agreed to be sites in phase two: University of Windsor, University of Ottawa (English-language program), University of Ottawa (French-language program) and York University.

Panel Members
Nipissing University
Donna Marie Kennedy, Council member
Cecilia Reynolds, Council member
Frances Thorne, Council member
Avis Glaze, Associate Director, York Region District School Board
Ron Leeking, Principal, Keith Wightman Public School, Peterborough

Laurentian University
Paul Charron, Council member
Michel Gravelle, Council member
Marilyn Laframboise, Council member
Lorraine Dionne-Laurin, university designated member
Jean GrisÚ, Principal, Úcole secondaire Sainte-Marie, New Liskeard

Queen’s University
Larry Capstick, Council member
Frances Thorne, Council member
Martha Dutrizac, Principal, London District Catholic School Board
Callista Markotich, Supervisory Officer, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board

In-service Teacher Education
The In-service Program Review Subcommittee continued its work in 1998. The subcommittee developed an initial draft of Guidelines for the Registration of Professional Learning Providers and Guidelines for the Accreditation of Professional Learning Programs. This first draft will be revised with the input from a series of focussed consultations. The Accreditation Committee also formed the Principal’s Qualification Program Work Group and the Additional Qualification Work Group to collect data and present recommendations to the Accreditation Committee in 1999.

The Standards of Practice and Education Committee

The Standards of Practice and Education Committee advises Council on the development of pre-service and in-service standards of practice and the development of a professional learning framework to support standards of practice and promote continuing competence among members of the College.

Committee Activities

The committee met five times in 1998. The work of the committee continued to be supported through contributions by participants in subcommittees, 21 focus groups, 26 developmental feedback sessions, numerous personal and telephone interviews, hundreds of written responses and through ongoing feedback on the web site. These participants included both members of the College and a significant representation from the Ontario public.

Based on the input of these participants and research on other standards statements, the committee prepared a draft version of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession in July. More than 800 members of the College and the public provided feedback on this preliminary draft. In October, the committee made revisions to the preliminary draft, and Council approved this first draft in principle in December. The Council also approved a validation process to begin in January 1999 and continue until May. Revisions to the document will be based on information gathered during this process.

The committee continued its work on the design of a professional learning framework to provide an integrated and consistent approach to standards-based professional learning for both pre-service and in-service learning. A preliminary draft will be field-tested and validated during 1999. A survey of 800 members of the College will be carried out early in 1999 to refine the framework.

The committee initiated work on developing a statement of ethical standards. A preliminary draft, based on extensive research on existing provincial, national and international examples of ethical statements, was prepared for committee consideration in February 1999. The committee will seek feedback from members of the College and the public in 1999.

Throughout 1999, staff members in the Standards of Practice and Education Unit will continue to work with faculties of education and other providers of in-service programs to ensure that the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession provides the foundation for accredited professional learning

The committee appreciates the time many members of the College and the public have given to the development of the standards of practice and the professional learning framework. The process of development has served as a catalyst for rich discussion and debate about the teaching profession.

The Finance Committee

The Finance Committee advises Council about the College’s financial affairs and acts as an audit committee. Council has the ultimate responsibility for the financial affairs of the College and must approve all the committee’s recommendations.

The committee makes recommendations about the College’s long term financial and operating plans. It determines the principles and guidelines used in setting the annual budgets, oversees budget preparation, and examines interim financial reports to ensure budget compliance and appropriate reporting.

The committee reviews and makes recommendations about proposed annual membership and other fees. It also oversees the development of spending policies, investment guidelines and the management of major financial risks.

Committee Activities

The committee met six times in 1998. The latest monthly financial reports were reviewed at each meeting. The committee reviewed the audited 1997 financial statements and recommended Council approval. It considered guidelines for the 1998 budget process and recommended the guidelines at the May meeting of Council. The 1999 budget was reviewed and recommended by the committee in late July. Council approved the final budget in September.

The committee met with the auditors in April to review the 1997 audit of the financial statements, in June to set an audit plan for 1998 and in December to consider the interim results of the 1998 audit work.

The committee gave final approval to an investment policy and reviewed and recommended policy on membership fees for certain classes of members. It also received a progress report on the College’s initiatives to deal with the Year 2000 bug.

1998 Annual Report Statistics

Sources of this data are the Ontario College of Teachers membership register, the financial records of the College, and the Evaluation Services files.

Membership in the College
(Includes members in good standing only)

Gender Language Membership Per cent
of Total
Female English 110,234 63.9
Female French 8,019 4.6
Male English 51,215 29.7
Male French 2,882 1.7
Unreported English 150 0.09
Unreported French 7 <0.01
Total   172,507  

Geographic Distribution
By Ontario College of Teachers election zones

North 15,620  
South East 30,091  
Central 66,806  
South West 57,648  
Ontario total 170,165 98.7%
Currently out-of-province 2,015  
Currently out-of-country 327  
Total 2,342 1.3%
Total Membership 172,507  

Age Distribution of the College Membership

Age Range

Male Per cent Female Per cent Unreported
20-30 4,901 2.8 16,736 9.8 107
31-40 11,76 6.8 27,884 16.1 24
41-50 15,826 9.1 37,952 22.0 19
51-60 19,937 11.5 32,849 19.0 6
>60 1,673 1.0 2,831 1.6 1
Total 54,097 31.3 118,253 68.5 157

Registration Summary
Out-of-province and out-of-country evaluations

Applicants educated in Canada 769
Applicants educated out-of-country 1,331
Total 2,100
These evaluations include:

Letters of Eligibility

1,171

Interim Certificates of Qualification

721

Rejected applications

208
New Ontario graduates1 6,533
Total applications reviewed 8,633
Letter of Eligibility to Interim Certificate of Qualification conversions 1,333
Interim Certificate extensions 138
Interim Certificate to Certificate of Qualification conversions 1,002
Temporary Letters of Approval 327
Appeals 18
Reassessments 81
Additional Qualifications processed 18,057
Additional Qualifications equivalents granted 492
Total number of files processed 30,081
1 Includes some 1997 teacher education graduates as well as 1998 graduates.

Financial Statements

 

Discipline Panel Decisions

Panels of the College Discipline Committee have ordered summaries of three recent disciplinary cases to be published in Professionally Speaking.

Member: Gordon Burleigh Mattice
Decision: Certificates of Registration and Qualification Revoked

A panel of the College’s Discipline Committee held a public hearing on March 22 and 23 concerning allegations of professional misconduct against Gordon Burleigh Mattice of Mississauga. Mattice, 58, was a former teacher and staff officer with the Ontario Public School Teachers’ Federation. He received his teaching certificate in 1961.

Mattice chose not to attend or be represented at the hearing, but signed an agreed statement of facts that was presented to the panel at the hearing.

The allegations of professional misconduct against Mattice included conduct that would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional, and conduct unbecoming a member.

The discipline panel heard that for a number of years Mattice had a large cache of videotapes, magazines and other pornographic material depicting children in various sexual acts.

In November 1997, Mattice was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and importation of child pornography. In June 1998, he pleaded guilty and was convicted in criminal court of both offences and sentenced to seven months imprisonment and three years probation.

The panel found Mattice guilty of professional misconduct and ordered his Certificates of Registration and Qualification revoked. The decision of the panel will appear on the College’s public register.


Member: David MacDonald Peckham
Decision: Certificates of Registration and Qualification suspended for 18 months

A panel of the College’s Discipline Committee held a public hearing on March 23 concerning allegations of professional misconduct against David MacDonald Peckham of Markham. Peckham, 47, is a former teacher with the York Region Board of Education as it was then called. He received his teaching certificate in 1975. The school board terminated his employment in May 1997.

Peckham chose not to attend or be represented at the hearing, but signed an agreed statement of facts that was presented to the panel at the hearing.

The allegations of professional misconduct against Peckham included conduct that would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional.

The discipline panel heard that between February and April 1997, Peckham had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student who attended the school where he taught. The panel also heard that he sent inappropriate electronic mail to the student.

In May 1997, Peckham was arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of the student. In July 1997 he was charged with breaching an undertaking not to communicate with the student.

In February 1998, Peckham pleaded guilty and was convicted of the criminal charges against him. He was sentenced to a conditional sentence of imprisonment for one year to be served in the community, a suspended sentence and one month’s probation.

The panel found Peckham guilty of professional misconduct and ordered his Certificates of Registration and Qualification suspended for 18 months. The decision of the panel will appear on the College’s public register.


Member: Donald Bruce Winton
Decision: Certificates of Registration and Qualification Revoked

A panel of the College’s Discipline Committee held a public hearing on March 22 concerning allegations of professional misconduct against Donald Bruce Winton of Connecticut. Winton, 51, was a special education teacher with the then Frontenac County School Board. He received his teaching certificate in 1977. Winton left the board in 1984.

Winton chose not to attend the hearing and he was not represented by legal counsel.

The allegations of professional misconduct against Winton included abusing a student physically, sexually, verbally, psychologically or emotionally, conduct that would be regarded as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional, conduct unbecoming a member.

The discipline panel heard testimony from men who were special education students at the school where Winton taught, some of them his former students. In 1983 and 1984, Winton invited some of the students to his home where he served alcohol and showed pornographic films. The students, who were legal adults at the time of the incidents, testified that Winton engaged some in a variety of sex acts.

The panel also heard the testimony of a former student who was 13 years old when Winton engaged in sexual acts with him at the school, at Winton’s home, and on a trip where the student was participating in a sporting event. Winton threatened the student should he tell anyone what happened. The student, who cannot be named, notified authorities of the allegations in 1997.

The Discipline Committee panel found the testimony of the witnesses credible, and Winton was found guilty of professional misconduct. The panel ordered his Certificates of Registration and Qualification revoked. The decision of the panel will appear on the College’s public register.

 

Faculty of Education Applications Rise Sharply as Interest in Teaching Turns a Corner

A decade of falling interest in teaching careers in Ontario may be at an end. Applications to the province’s 11 faculties of education for September 1999 increased 41 per cent over last year, according to the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) in Guelph. Increases are evident in all of the programs where looming teacher shortages are a concern.

OUAC figures in March show that 10,916 individuals had applied to enter the faculties in September 1999. This recovery follows a decade-long decline from a high of almost 20,000 individuals in 1990 to fewer than 8,000 in 1997 and 1998.

The centre observed a substantial jump in teacher education applications following publication of the Ontario College of Teachers forecast of a possible teacher shortage in November 1998. Teacher recruitment by boards of education across the province and news stories about their 1999 hiring forecasts added to public awareness that the days of teacher surpluses are gone in Ontario. Teaching is once again perceived as a viable career for Ontarians.

The September 1999 applicant pool shows a very strong recovery in all core secondary school teaching subjects, in Technological Studies, in French First Language programs and, generally, throughout elementary and secondary programs. English language Intermediate-Senior applicants rose from 1,836 in 1998 to 2,492 in 1999. Technological Studies applicants increased from 112 to 205 applicants. French First Language applicants soared from 377 to 647 applicants, a 71 per cent increase.

Intermediate-Senior teacher candidates choose two teaching subjects. The potential for enrolment growth is evident even among first teaching subject choices alone. Applicants who chose English as their first teaching subject reached 941 by January, compared with enrolment of just 429 in 1998-99 consecutive teacher education programs in all faculties of education combined. Applications beyond present enrolment are substantial in other core teaching subjects as well – History has 361 applicants beyond current enrolment, Geography 208, Mathematics 103, Physics 56, Chemistry 143, Biology 617 and French 138.

 

College Council Asks for Update on Letters of Permission, Emergency Provisions

At its meeting in February, Council approved a motion requesting the Minister of Education and Training to provide an annual update to the College on school boards’ use of Letters of Permission and emergency provisions under the Education Act. The act allows school boards to hire non-qualified individuals when no qualified teacher can be found.

The College is responsible and publicly accountable for regulating the teaching profession in Ontario, but the Ministry of Education and Training issues Letters of Permission and enforces the regulation allowing unqualified instructors in the classroom for 10 days in emergencies.

Council wants assurance from Education and Training Minister David Johnson that school boards are abiding by the regulations governing Letters of Permission and emergency provisions.