Minister sat on OCT recommendations for almost two years- ETFO

LeSage Report tables review of Ontario College of Teachers' processes

TORONTO, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - A number of the recommendations tabled today in the LeSage review of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) investigation and disciplinary processes were sent by the College to the Minister of Education almost two years ago yet the Minister took no action, according to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

"OCT recommendations that would improve the college's investigative and disciplinary processes have been sitting with the Minister of Education awaiting legislative action for too long," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "We want to ensure that in those cases where teachers do harm to children in their care that justice and the public interest are served."

Hammond was commenting on the release of the report by Justice Patrick LeSage which was commissioned by the OCT to review the regulatory body's investigation and disciplinary procedures and outcomes and dispute resolution program.

"The reality is that there are fewer complaints brought forward against teachers than other self-regulated professions," added Hammond. "We believe that the College's investigation and disciplinary procedures are transparent and thorough to handle those that do come forward."

Complaints have only been brought against 0.09% of Ontario teachers according to ETFO, and of that number, a higher percentage have gone to a full hearing at the College than at other self-regulatory bodies. Fifteen percent of complaints have gone to full hearing at the teachers' college compared to 2% at the Law Society of Upper Canada, 3% at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, 2% at the College of Social Workers, and 5% at the College of Psychologists, according to their respective websites.

"While some of the proposed changes are positive, others strike the wrong chord. An increase in false allegations against teachers continues to be a problem. For example, where a complaint is withdrawn by the College, the teacher's name and the allegations should not remain in the decisions posted on the OCT's public website," said Hammond. "While some of LeSage's recommendations provide more support for falsely accused teachers, the issue of which decisions should be posted needs to be addressed".

The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.

SOURCE Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

For further information:

Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations: Cell: 416-948-0195

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Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario

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