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Ontario Making Schools Safer For Students and Staff

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Ontario Making Schools Safer For Students and Staff

Province Promoting Safety in Ontario School Boards

Ministry of Education

Ontario is taking action to ensure that working and learning environments are safe for all staff and students.

To address workplace violence in schools, the province is taking steps to ensure safe working environments by:

  • Funding an online reporting tool to simplify and standardize reporting and responding to incidents of workplace violence in all schools.
  • Developing templates to improve information sharing about potential risks of injury between schools.
  • Releasing Workplace Violence in School Boards: A Guide to the Law to help schools develop workplace violence policies and procedures and outline the requirements of reporting workplace violence under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
  • Establishing a Ministry of Labour Enforcement Team to visit all school boards, to promote understanding and compliance with workplace violence requirements in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The Provincial Working Group on Health and Safety - which includes representatives from school boards, teacher federations, education worker unions, principal associations and government - has worked together on these initiatives with the common goal of ensuring that schools are safe places to learn and work for all members of the school community.

Ontario's plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing more than $6 million in new and expanded programming to support staff well-being and classroom violence prevention.
  • The Local Priorities Fund of $223 million will allow school boards to address a range of priorities including special education staffing to support children in need.
  • Health and safety training will be a mandatory part of a professional activity (PA) day for elementary teachers in the English school system.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“I’d like to thank the Provincial Working Group on Health and Safety for working tirelessly to deliver these important initiatives. Any incidence of violence in the classroom is unacceptable and we know that more work is needed. This work with the Ministry of Labour and our partners will ensure our classrooms are safe and inclusive working environments.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris

Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care

“Ensuring Ontario’s workplaces are safe is the top priority of everyone at the Ministry of Labour. Teachers have a critical job in our province, and they deserve to do that job in an environment that is free from violence. Ontario is one of the safest places in the world to work, but we know that more can always be done. The steps being announced today are part of that continuing effort and will make our schools safer.”

Kevin Flynn

Minister of Labour

“OECTA believes Workplace Violence in School Boards: A Guide to the Law is a valuable resource which will support the work of all stakeholders to pursue the shared goal of making our workplaces safer for all. As a member of the Provincial Work Group on Health and Safety we look forward to continue to work with other stakeholders to strive to make our schools violence-free.”

Liz Stuart

President, Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA)

“OSSTF/FEESO is pleased to have been involved in the collaborative development of the Ministry of Labour's resource guide entitled Workplace Violence in School Boards: A Guide to the Law. The guide in simple, clear language defines what workplace violence is and how school boards are required to address it under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The work completed to this point is a good first step towards addressing the issue of workplace violence in our sector and we look forward to continuing to be a part of the important process of identifying and implementing solutions to protect our members from the hazards of workplace violence.”

Harvey Bischof

President, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO)

“The Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) believes the guide is a step in the right direction to assist employers in not only understanding their obligations and responsibilities with workplace violence, but in also taking necessary steps to protect AEFO members.”

Rémi Sabourin

President, Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)

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