We at the Independent and Private School Forum (IPSF) provide excellence in educational opportunities to our students. Implicit in this is a commitment to ensuring that students and their parents have the maximum number of choices possible when it comes to choosing the education best suited to them. That’s why the following situation has us very concerned.
The policy document, Ontario Schools (section 4.3.1) states: “… The principal of the receiving school may award credit for work started in the previous school but completed in the receiving school…” This clearly articulates that parents and their children can choose to complete a high-school credit in a different school from where they began, so long as that school is authorized to grant that credit. Then why does the private school resource manual, Private Schools Policy and Procedures Manual and the policy document, and Ontario Schools, contradict this for Ontario private schools, and by doing so limit the options available to Ontario parents and their children?
Here is what the private school resource manual states (page 109): “Can our school allow a student to finish a credit course that was started in a publicly-funded school? No. Private school inspectors have no authority to review work that may have been started in a publicly-funded school. Following the policies and programs outlined in Ontario Schools, inspectors may only inspect private schools regarding the delivery of full-credit or half-credit courses.”
This contradiction, which became practice under the previous Ontario Liberal Government, makes no sense to us. We asked the MOE Private Schools and International Education Unit, to clarify this worrisome circumstance. Specifically, we asked the unit manager: “Is it the position of the Private Schools and International Education Unit that the Private Schools Policy and Procedures Manual, 2013, supersedes the authority of the policy document, Ontario Schools, has the approval of the Ontario Minister of Education, and, thus, confers authority in regards to this issue, to your office.”
We began this correspondence with the MOE Private Schools and International Education Unit on June 15, 2018. To this date, we have had no further response other than to say that the practice is now “under review”. IPSF continues to pursue various actions as we seek to resolve this issue on behalf of Ontario parents and our member schools.
In the meantime, Ontario parents and their children continue to have their educational options significantly constrained. We have a new government in Ontario now. We believe they consider parents as the key stakeholders in educational decisions that impact their children. We believe this is the time to demand timely clarification of this specific issue by the Private Schools and International Education Unit, and a general change in treatment toward Ontario parents who choose to use their option of independent or private school education.
IPSF is the organization for schools interested in having their voices heard on this and other important educational issues. IPSF is the organization for schools interested in sharing and learning with other like-minded educational institutions. IPSF is the organization for schools engaged in ongoing and continuous improvement of their educational practices.
We urge you to apply and join us now!
Please visit ipsf.ca and register your school with us today.
Ronnie Miller, M.Ed.; Ph.D.
IPSF – Executive Director