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Draft Ethical Standards for Ontario’s Teaching Profession Approved in Principle

Members of the College and the public are invited to comment until May 1 on a companion piece to the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

Ontario’s teaching profession took another important step forward in its growth as a self-regulating profession with the College Council’s approval in principle November 19, 1999 of the draft Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession.

The ethical standards document is a companion to the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession, which received approval at the same Council meeting. The standards of practice address the question of what it means to be a teacher, while the ethical standards establish the professional values and ethical responsibilities of the teaching profession.

“As a self-regulatory body for the teaching profession, we must be able to articulate what our profession’s ethical standards are and be committed to meeting the high standard of ethical practice expected of us. This document is a description of what those expectations are,” says Clarice West-Hobbs, chair of the College’s Standards of Practice and Education Committee.

In developing the document, the committee oversaw an extensive review of policy statements by teachers’ organizations and other self-regulatory professions, and of national and international literature. Input on the values embedded in current teaching practice came from College members and the public during the development of both the standards of practice and the ethical standards documents.

The College is undertaking a further consultation with College members, stakeholder groups and the public on this latest draft. The consultation will end May 1, 2000. The College expects the final version of the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession to be considered for approval by Council in the fall of 2000.

In Thinking About Ethical Standards: Issues and Complexities, Elizabeth Campbell of OISE/University of Toronto wrote "Members of the College need ethical standards that can act as a guide and a resource to help them cope with the ethical complexities and dilemmas that characterize the practice of teaching."

Once approved, the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession and the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession will become one document and will be used in pre-service and in-service teacher education programs accredited by the Ontario College of Teachers. The document will be used to accredit, develop and improve professional learning programs and experiences for future and current teachers, principals and supervisory officers.

“One of the challenges facing the College is to describe the ethical expectations in a way that help us make sound decisions in support of student learning. Students and parents trust us to make appropriate ethical decisions when it comes to helping students learn,” says West-Hobbs.

Members who would like to comment on the Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession may send their comments by May 1, 2000 to Douglas Wilson, Manager, Standards of Practice and Education, Ontario College of Teachers, 121 Bloor Street East, 6th Floor, Toronto ON M4W 3M5 or via fax at 416-961-8822.

Although comments are welcome in any form, the College is particularly interested in members’ responses to these questions:

  1. What is your overall response to the draft Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession?
  2. Please highlight any specific comments or suggestions you have regarding the ethical standard statements. Please be sure to indicate which standard statement you are addressing.
  3. How well do these ethical standard statements describe what you feel is important in professional values and ethical responsibilities of the teaching profession? Please explain.
  4. In what ways do you think the ethical standard statements would be useful to teachers in ethical decision-making?

Comments may also be sent via the College’s web site where the consultation document is available at

Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession

The teaching profession fosters the growth of confident and competent teachers. Members of the profession strive to uphold the dignity and honour of the profession through their practice.

Members of the Ontario College of Teachers in their positions of trust and influence:

  • maintain professional relationships with students
  • recognize the privileged nature of the relationship that teachers maintain with students
  • demonstrate impartial and consistent respect for all students as individuals with distinctive and ongoing learning needs and capacities
  • respect confidential information about students unless disclosure is a requirement by law or personal safety is at risk
  • develop respect for human dignity, spiritual values, cultural values, freedom, social justice, democracy and the environment
  • work with other members of the College and others to create a professional environment that supports the social, physical, intellectual, spiritual, cultural, moral and emotional development of students
  • base relationships with parents or guardians in their role as partners in the education of students on mutual respect, trust and communication
  • co-operate with professionals from other agencies in the interest of students and as required by law
  • act with integrity, honesty, fairness and dignity
  • respect the confidential nature of information about members of the College obtained in the course of professional practice unless disclosure is required by law or personal safety is at risk
  • comply with the Acts and regulations
  • advise the appropriate people in a professional manner when policies or practices exist that should be reviewed or revised.

Council Approves Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession
The College Council has unanimously approved the first Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession in Ontario.

The standards define what it means to be a teacher and what makes the teaching profession unique. They are used in the College’s accreditation process and will become a foundation of teacher learning activities.

The standards provide a description of the knowledge, skills, and values that are inherent to the teaching profession. They articulate the goals and expectations of a profession with a mandate to foster student learning.

Council endorsed the draft standards in principle in December 1998 and submitted them to a validation process conducted last year from January to May. Comments received from members and the general public during the validation process showed strong support for the standards.

“The response to our draft standards was very positive,” Standards of Practice and Education Committee Chair Clarice West-Hobbs told Council before members gave the standards final approval at their meeting November 19. “Eighty-five percent of the 270 written responses we received from members, as well as the public and public organizations, provided positive feedback. About 600 members of the College also validated the standards through case studies.”

Hundreds of members of the public and the profession, including individual teachers, teachers’ federations, faculties of education and representatives of supervisory officers and trustees, participated in the development of the Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

“The standards will continue to evolve and will be refined over time,” said West-Hobbs. “They are a living document and they will adapt as education changes.”

The Standards of Practice for the Profession are included in this mailing of Professionally Speaking/Pour parler profession. New Ontario teachers will receive their copy of the standards in their handbook for new members.

Client Services Talks Up a Storm
Don’t call to congratulate them, but the College’s call centre handled 140,898 calls in 1999 – the equivalent of receiving one phone call from more than 80 per cent of College members.

“The number one reason why people call is to find out the status of their application for membership,” says Marina Brasil, Manager of the Client Services Unit, who oversees the call centre and walk-in operations.

Many people also call with questions about the membership fee, fees for other services, and to inquire about the requirements for registration, especially for teachers trained outside of Ontario and outside of Canada, says Brasil.

The busiest month of 1999 for the call centre was in March, reflecting the fact that annual membership fees are due April 15 and graduating teachers want to register for the first time. The call centre handled 19,638 calls in March and 16,648 calls in April.

Call centre staff aim to answer 70 per cent of all calls within three minutes, a goal they met every month in 1999. In most months, more than 95 per cent of calls were answered within three minutes.

And the other ones? “It depends on when people call. The busiest time of day is between noon and 2:00 p.m. which is when callers may have to wait longer, depending on volume. The best time to call is between 8:30 and 10:00 a.m, and between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.,” says Brasil. "To help Client Services serve you better, please have your SIN or registration number ready when calling."

Twelve staff members answer incoming calls, make outgoing calls and staff the walk-in centre, which averages about 45 visitors a day. In addition, three officers handle cases that require follow up and provide ongoing training for staff to ensure everyone is up-to-date on emerging issues and the Ontario regulations that govern teacher certification.

Staff in the Client Services Unit have access to a member’s file via computer so they can answer pertinent questions immediately.

The call centre and walk-in centre are staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Term of Council Extended

The government has approved the extension of the term of the first Council of the College by six months to October 31, 2000. Education Minister Janet Ecker informed Council when she attended the November 18 Council meeting.

The extension does not affect appointed members who are named to Council by the government for a period of one or two years.

The extension is necessary for Council to put in place a new election regulation for the College that reflects the changes brought about by Bill 160. The proposed election regulation allows specific representation for French Catholic and French public school boards and for principals.

The College submitted the election regulation for approval by the government in December 1998 but the government’s heavy legislative agenda and the provincial election prevented the government from approving it.

Watch for more information on the election regulation and the election of Council members in upcoming issues of Professionally Speaking.

College Council Approves Balanced Budget for 2000
The Ontario College of Teachers will operate on a balanced budget of $17.67 million this year. The budget was approved by the College Council at its November meeting.

Before approving the budget, the Council received a report from staff that reviewed fiscal results since College startup and gave projections for the next four years. Revenue has risen each of the first three years but will level off. In the meantime, expected expenses have been lower than planned but are growing more rapidly than revenue. The result is that while the College has recorded an excess of revenue in each of the first three years, this is not expected to continue in 2000 and future years.

Overall revenues are expected to be $17.67 million in 2000. Although last year’s budget called for revenues of $16.083 million, actual revenues were approximately $17.5 million.

Fee revenues rose steadily from 1997 to 1999 because more teachers chose to acquire or to keep College membership than could be predicted when budgets were set.

The College’s only signficant source of revenue is, and will remain, membership fees, which in 1999 made up almost 90 per cent of College revenues. Other income has been generated, such as the $300,000 annually in advertising revenue from Professionally Speaking/Pour parler profession. This offsets the magazine’s production costs, reducing the average cost to $1 per member per issue, or $4 for the year, including postage.

Most of the excess revenue from 1997 and 1998 has been placed in a Reserve for Working Capital to ensure College business can be carried out without having to resort to special fee levies. The College has forecast a deficit for 2001 if the fee remains at $90. The Finance Committee has recommended that any excess revenue in 1999 be placed in a Reserve for Fee Stabilization to support plans to maintain the membership fee at $90 beyond 2000.

Expenses related to services to members and public accountability are forecast to continue to rise. Discipline and Fitness to Practise committees have operated at below budgeted levels because growth in hearings has been lower than forecast. In late 1999, the hearings agenda was full and costs in this area are growing rapidly.

Employee compensation is providing for a full-time staff of 118 and temporary staff for peak workloads. However, Council committee budgets are held at the 1999 level. Council and committee costs are for the travel, meal and accommodation costs of elected members to attend meetings. Per diems and travel costs for appointed members are recovered from the province.

General Services to Members increases by $262,000 over 1999. This reflects higher costs for the College magazine’s production and paper costs, increased circulation, and higher postage costs for members’ certificates. Operating Support budgets are similar to 1999 except for Information Technology which is increased significantly but in line with experience.

An election budget provision of $700,000 is recommended. The 2000 election costs will be incurred in 2000 and amortized over the life of the elected Council. The budget provides for printing, mailing, advertising, temporary staff, equipment and auditing of the election.

As of 2001, the Finance Committee predicts that revenue will no longer exceed expenses and the College will have to begin drawing on reserves to meet expectations.





Annual Membership Fees 15,660 14,868 15,603
Other Fees 1,110 695 1,059
Advertising Revenue 300 250 201
Interest and Other Revenue 610 270 435
17,670 16,083 17,298
Employee Compensation 8,454 8,055 7,319
Council and Committees 291 291 174
General Services to Members 1,689 1,327 1,208
Professional Affairs 404 319 244
Investigations and Hearings 1,210 1,210 485
Operating Support 4,747 3,814 3,761
Asset Amortization and Depreciation 875 911 865
17,670 16,027 14,056

Excess of Revenue over Expenses


56 3,242
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Leasehold Improvements 150 160 218
Furniture and Equipment 200 95 112
Computer Equipment 275 30 177
Election Costs (deferred charges) 700 100





Teacher Testing, Open Communications and the Government’s Agenda Highlight Minister’s Remarks to Council

Teacher testing was high on the agenda as Education Minister Janet Ecker addressed the College Council on November 18. The government had officially asked the College’s advice on the issue just the week before.

The Minister insisted that teacher testing must be seen as a complement to both the professional learning programs and initiatives that many teachers participate in and to the current assessments done by school boards and principals.

“Staying up-to-date is not a challenge that is unique to the teaching profession,” said Ecker as she gave her views on teacher testing. “All professions, from lawyers to accountants to child and health care workers are facing this challenge. Teacher testing is meant to be a form of quality assurance, if you will, and a guarantee for all our students and parents that all of our teachers are as good as they can be.”

The Minister repeated the need to keep the lines of communications open with all stakeholders in education. “I know that we are going to have different perspectives. We are going to have different views on some issues,” said Ecker. “But the choice we can make is that we can have those differences around tables such as this and work them out for the benefit of the common ground we all share. That’s to give Ontario’s kids the best quality education that we can and to ensure Ontario teachers are the best that they can be as well.”

Ecker acknowledged Council’s work on the standards of practice, ethical standards, the accreditation process and the criminal record check policy. She also commended the College for raising awareness of the teacher shortage problem, which has led to increased funding for faculties of education and a renewed interest for the teaching profession in Ontario.

The education minister concluded her remarks by inviting all stakeholders to work together. She underlined her determination to carry forward the government’s agenda. “The government has a new mandate and a very ambitious agenda and I tried to be clear about the directions of that agenda,” she said. “I’ve also been very clear about the need for your advice, your assistance, as well as that of the other education partners if we are to meet the challenges that lie ahead for all of us.”

“The education sector is made up with many different groups – teachers, students, parents, school boards, faculties, educators, trustees, taxpayers. The education system belongs to none of us. It belongs to the children who are going to get their future through it and it belongs to the communities that support our schools.”


Membership Fee Due April 15

The deadline for payment of the membership fee to the College is April 15 again this year. The fee remains at $90 for a fourth year, one of the lowest of the province’s professional self-regulatory bodies.

The majority of College members who work for school boards have their membership fee deducted from their salary by their school board in early January. Occasional teachers who are unsure about how to pay their membership fee should check with their school board if their membership fee was deducted directly from their pay.

Members who receive an invoice at home are personally responsible to ensure the College receives payment by April 15. The College mails invoices to the home address listed on the College’s registry and members are responsible for notifying the College in writing within 30 days of any change of address.

“Teachers who work with supply teachers should do them a favour and remind them to pay their membership fee on time if the board is not deducting it from their pay. The easiest way for them to pay is to return a cheque with the stub from the invoice in the envelope provided. They can also pay the fee over the telephone by VISA, MasterCard or American Express,” said Membership Services co-ordinator Lynda Palazzi. “Members should also know that the best times to call the College’s Client Services Unit are from 8:30 to 10:00 and 4:00 to 5:00. The highest volume of calls is between 12:00 and 2:00. If you’re paying by credit card, please make sure that you have your registration or SIN number handy, as well as your credit card number.”

Members who do not pay their membership fee by the April 15 deadline will be automatically suspended and not be permitted to teach in a publicly-funded school in Ontario. They will also have to apply in writing for re-instatement and pay the re-instatement fee of $100 in addition to the $90 membership fee.

When payment is received, the College will mail a 2000 Certificate of Qualification, a 2000 membership card and a 2000 income tax receipt to every member with a valid home address on the registry.

Discipline Panel Decisions

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

Member: Dennis Charles Doherty
Decision: Certificates of Qualification and Registration Revoked

A panel of the College’s Discipline Committee held a public hearing January 10 into allegations of professional misconduct against Dennis Charles Doherty, 59, of Kingston, a former teacher and librarian for the Frontenac County Board of Education. Doherty, who was certified to teach in 1970, chose not to attend the hearing and was not represented by counsel.

The allegations of professional misconduct against Doherty included failing to maintain the standards of the profession, abusing students physically, sexually, verbally, psychologically or emotionally, failing to comply with the Education Act and the regulations made under the Act, having committed acts that would be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional and engaging in conduct unbecoming a member.

In a statement of facts submitted to the panel, Doherty admitted to a number of sexual relationships with former students over a period of years and agreed that his behaviour constituted professional misconduct.

In April 1997, Doherty was charged with various criminal offenses. He was found guilty on November 12, 1999 under the Criminal Code of Canada of three charges related to indecent assault, attempted illicit sexual intercourse and illicit sexual intercourse.

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

Member: William Ambrose Moloney
Decision: Certificates of Qualification and Registration Suspended Five Days

A panel of the College’s Discipline Committee held a public hearing from November 1 to 4 into allegations of professional misconduct against William Ambrose Moloney, 42, of Newcastle. Moloney is a teacher at the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board. He was certified to teach in 1986.

The allegations of professional misconduct against Moloney included failing to maintain the standards of the profession; abusing a student physically, sexually, verbally, psychologically or emotionally; failing to comply with the Education Act and the regulations made under the Act; committing an act that would be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional and engaging in conduct unbecoming a member.

The panel heard evidence about an incident following a hockey game in October 1997. The victim and other students told the panel that the victim came out of the shower and snapped Moloney with a towel. The teacher followed the student into the shower and physically contacted the student with a hockey stick.

The panel found Moloney guilty of two of the allegations of professional misconduct – failing to maintain the standards of the profession and engaging in conduct unbecoming a member – and ordered his Certificate of Qualification and Registration suspended for a period of five days. The suspension was deemed to have been served during the period that the member was under suspension by the school board. The decision of the panel will appear on the College’s public register.

Member: Raymond Paquette
Decision: Certificates of Qualification and Registration Revoked

The College’s Discipline Committee held a public hearing on November 29 into allegations of professional misconduct against Raymond Paquette, 56, of Corbeil. Paquette was certified to teach in 1970. He chose not to attend the hearing and was not represented by counsel.

The allegations of professional misconduct against Paquette included failing to maintain the standards of the profession, abusing students sexually, psychologically or emotionally, failing to comply with the Education Act, contravening a law relevant to the suitability to hold a teaching certificate, committing acts that would be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable and unprofessional and engaging in conduct unbecoming a member.

The panel heard evidence that between January 1970 and December 1983, Paquette sexually assaulted and indecently assaulted six children under the age of 18, two of whom were his students. The panel also heard evidence that Paquette committed gross indecency upon the children.

Paquette was charged under the Criminal Code with nine sexual offenses in May 1997 and pleaded guilty to seven of the nine charges in August 1998. He was sentenced to two years less one day of imprisonment, followed by two years probation during which he is required to take rehabilitative treatment and not be in the company of children under 16 unless accompanied by an adult.

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