Directory of Laws Affecting Student Involvement in Decision-Making in Canada

Canadian Student Voice Directory from SoundOut.
This is the SoundOut Students On School Boards Toolkit by Adam Fletcher. It includes research, examples and more. SoundOut offers professional development and training! For more information contact us.
What laws affect students involvement in education decision-making?

Across Canada, there is increasing interest in involving in education decision-making. Many provinces and district school boards use laws as a reason whether or not to involve students. This page is a province-by-province summary of laws affecting student involvement in decision-making, and was compiled for SoundOut.

The practice of relying on laws can ensure rigor and sustainability in students’ roles.

This article identifies whether it is legal to involve students in several provinces. If a province is not listed, we do not currently have information. Please share your thoughts, ideas, information, concerns and other comments below.

The following shows there is a genuine absence of policies across Canada providing for student involvement in policy-making.

Province Summary of the law(s)
Alberta
As of 1995, the Alberta Education Act allowed for student involvement at the local level on school councils.
British Columbia The B.C. Department of Education has initiated policies for student involvement in policy-making at the local school level through the BC School Accreditation Program.
The department has not produced policies providing for student involvement at the departmental level.
Manitoba   Status unknown; law unknown
New Brunswick   Status unknown; law unknown
Newfoundland and Labrador   Status unknown; law unknown
Northwest Territories   Status unknown; law unknown
Nova Scotia   Status unknown; law unknown
Nunavut   Status unknown; law unknown
Ontario The Ontario Department of Education has established policies that provide for student involvement at the district level as non-voting trustees on district boards
The Ontario Department of Education has no policies for student involvement at the department level.
Section 55 of the Ontario Education Act allows students serving as district trustees to have the same participation as adult trustees in terms of making presentations and raising concerns.
Student trustees are not permitted to vote on policies.
Prince Edward Island  Status unknown; law unknown
QuebecThe Quebec Ministry of Education does not have a formal avenue for student involvement on school boards
SaskatchewanThe Saskatchewan School Boards Association has established policies that provide for student involvement at the local and district levels.
The Saskatchewan Department of Education has not created any policies providing for student involvement at the departmental level, including school boards.
Yukon  Status unknown; law unknown

In 1999, students had representation in policy-making at the local level on school councils in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. *

Students on School Boards Toolkit

Students on School Boards in Canada

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