Professionalism & Transparency
The College is accountable to the public and committed to transparency in the regulation of the teaching profession.
In 2013, the College was at the forefront of a number of initiatives and milestones that improve transparency for students, teachers and parents.
Setting the Standard for Great Teaching
What does the College do exactly and how does it support teaching excellence? You’ll soon find out more about us.
The College is launching a public awareness initiative to make the public aware that the College exists and to explain what we do.
Our communications initiative “Setting the Standard for Great Teaching” tells people who we are, how we regulate teaching in Ontario in the public interest and, most importantly, how highly qualified Ontario teachers are.
Helping you understand what the College does is an important part of our mandate. One of our responsibilities is “to communicate with the public on behalf of the members of the College.”
College Council has made this a priority. Council adopted a set of principles to guide the initiative at a special meeting on April 29, 2013.
The College is developing materials to inform the public and engage parents. We believe in open communication and this strategy aims to increase transparency at the College.
Our research told us we need to communicate more. Many people are unaware of the Ontario College of Teachers. A 2013 survey of the public showed that only a small minority know about the College.
To remedy that, we will be reaching out to the public through magazines, online and radio. We plan to take part in conferences, trade shows and exhibitions targeted toward parents. We’ve created a College Speakers Bureau and we’ll offer presentations to Parent Involvement Committees, school trustees and other community groups.
The initiative’s ongoing communications and engagement with the public will reflect the ethical standards to which all Ontario Certified Teachers aspire – care, trust, respect and integrity.
Streamlining Investigation, Disciplinary and Reporting Processes
The introduction of the Protecting Students Act in September 2013 ushered in an era of improved transparency and efficiency for students, teachers and parents.
The proposed legislation, Bill 103, contains the most significant changes to the Ontario College of Teachers Act since the College was formed in 1997. The amendments reinforce the College’s continuing efforts to streamline its investigation and discipline processes.
The College will be allowed to fast-track complaints against teachers directly to the Discipline Committee and automatically revoke the teaching licence of a member found guilty of sexual abuse. It will open reinstatement hearings to the public and implement new timelines to help dispose of complaints.
These are just some of the major changes in Bill 103. It was in second reading at year's end.
The changes are consistent with advice provided to the province by College Council in response to an independent review by former Ontario Chief Justice Patrick LeSage. His report made 49 recommendations, many calling on the College, the government and district school boards to improve reporting and information sharing.
The College has acted on many of the recommendations since the report. Significant strides have been made in how the College investigates complaints and shares information. For example, the College made 600 full decisions of the Discipline Committee available online in January 2012. All discipline decisions are now posted on the College website.
Accessing Disciplinary Decisions
You could see 779 full discipline decisions involving College members over the last 17 years on our website by the end of 2013.
The College also continues to provide public access to disciplinary decisions in other ways:
- Copies of Discipline Committee decisions are available in the College’s Margaret Wilson Library. Members of the public can also request electronic versions of the decisions.
- The College provides full decisions to Quicklaw, one of several professional Canadian legal research services available to service subscribers.
- Summaries of Discipline Committee decisions appear in the College’s official publication Professionally Speaking, as well as on the College’s website.
- The College’s public register, Find a Teacher, also plays an important role in communicating the decisions of our Discipline Committee.
Enhancing Teacher Education
The College is proud of its leadership role in developing the enhanced teacher education program that will change how teachers are educated in this province. The new program will better prepare new teachers for their chosen profession.
Starting in 2015, the teacher education program will double from two to four semesters and increase the practice teaching from a minimum of 40 to 80 days.
The program will include:
- a sharper focus on equity and diversity
- meeting the needs of students with special needs
- child, youth and parental mental health issues related to teaching
- the use of technology as a teaching tool among other core program elements.
The new program equips new teachers for the challenges of the contemporary classroom and helps address the shrinking job market. The surplus of teachers has been growing steadily since 2005. Plus, the College’s annual Transition to Teaching survey shows that new teachers want more practical experience in the classroom.
The College is a lead partner in developing the program requirements. We are also working with the faculties to help implement the program and with the province to make necessary legislative changes.
The College plans to dedicate an area on the home page of the College website to the enhanced program to keep people informed.
Reviewing Our Registration Practices
Our ongoing review of registration practices initiated in 2007 ensures that our procedures, information and guidelines are clear and transparent.
To learn more on the College’s commitment to fair registration practices, see the full report on our website.
Find a Teacher
Find a Teacher was the most-viewed feature on the College website, with 3.4 million page views in 2013. You can view a register of all College members, including their qualifications, credentials and a notation of every revocation, cancellation and suspension of a certificate of qualification.
Follow us on Twitter
The College launched a Twitter account in April 2013 to expand communication with members and the public. Follow us for College news, events, teaching resources, new discounts and more.
Access us on Facebook
Visit the College's Facebook page and you can:
- participate in polls
- learn about visiting delegations
- read the latest College news
- learn of College job openings
- get the scoop on events, awards and contests.
View us on YouTube
Visit the College's YouTube channel and watch stories on:
- what happens during a disciplinary hearing
- how to register with the College
- our advice to teachers on the use of social media, professional misconduct and student safety
- First Nations’ education.
Sign up for College news
Sign up to receive our public e-newsletter, The Standard, and learn more about:
- teacher qualifications
- high standards in education
- College reports on trends in education
- education legislation.
College members can subscribe online to the electronic newsletter Your College and You to get the inside edge on College news. It provides early access to new developments in the activities of the College and the teaching profession.
Discover the Data in Annual Reports
The College’s past annual reports are available on our website and are loaded with information. You can delve into the wide range of statistical information available about Ontario Certified Teachers.
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