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.

The following section 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.



Summary of the law(s) on student involvement in decision-making.
  • 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.
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
  • 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 departmental 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
  • The Saskatchewan School Boards Association has established policies that provide for student involvement at the local and district levels.
  • The Department of Education has not created any policies providing for student involvement at the departmental level.
  • The Ministry of Education does not have a formal avenue for student involvement.


As of 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. *


More Info

Please cite this information as follows:

Fletcher, A. and Kunst, K. (2015) Students on School Boards Toolbox. Olympia, WA: SoundOut. Retrieved [xx/xx/20xx] from http://soundout.org/students-on-school-boards-toolbox.

Published by Adam Fletcher

Adam is the founding director of SoundOut. An author, speaker and consultant, he has worked with K-12 schools, districts, nonprofits and others for more than 15 years. Learn more about him at http://soundout.org/Adam

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply