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:: Identification, Placement and Review Committe (IPRC)
:: IPRC Appeal Process
:: Individual Education Plan (IEP)
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Roles and Responsibilities

In Ontario, the development and delivery of special education programs and services is a shared responsibility.  The Education Act and its Regulations specify clear responsibilities for the Ministry of Education, the School Boards, School Board supervisory officers, Principals, teachers, parents and students.

The Ministry of Education

According to the Education Act and its regulations, the Ministry of Education has the following responsibilities for special education:

  • Establishing the legal obligations of school boards, such as the obligation to provide appropriate special education programs and services
  • Defining special education words like “exceptionality,” and determining the categories of exceptionality
  • establishing the funding for special education
  • setting standards for programs and curriculum
  • establishing Ontario Special Education Tribunals to hear disputes between parents and school boards regarding the identification and placement of exceptional pupils
  • operating Provincial Schools that provide alternative education programs for deaf, blind, and deaf-blind students, and Demonstration Schools for students who have severe learning disabilities

School Boards

The Education Act requires that school boards provide, or purchase from another school board, special education programs and services for "exceptional" students.

The responsibilities of school boards and school authorities that are specific to special education include:

  • hiring qualified staff to provide programs and services for exceptional students
  • obtaining funding for special education
  • preparing an annual special education budget
  • Establishing a Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
  • developing and reviewing a Special Education Plan for the schools operated by the School Board
  • preparing a Parent Guide to provide parents with information about special education programs, services, and procedures
  • establishing Identification, Placement, and Review Committees (IPRCs) to identify exceptional pupils and determine appropriate placements for them
  • establishing Special Education Appeal Boards for the purpose of reviewing IPRC decisions


The principal’s specific responsibilities for special education include:

  • communicating board policies and procedures about special education to staff, students, and parents
  • ensuring that appropriately qualified staff are assigned to teach special education classes
  • Appointing a Special Education Coordinator
  • ensuring that the identification and placement of exceptional pupils, through an IPRC, is done according to the procedures outlined in the Education Act, regulations, and board policies
  • ensuring that necessary assessments are requested and that parental consent is obtained
  • consulting with parents and school board staff to determine the most appropriate program for exceptional pupils
  • ensuring the development, implementation, and review of a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP), including a transition plan, is carried out according to provincial requirements
  • ensuring that parents are consulted in the development of their child’s IEP and that they are provided with a copy of the IEP
  • ensuring the delivery of program and services as set out in the IEP


Teachers’ specific responsibilities with respect to special education include:

  • following board policies and procedures regarding special education
  • maintaining up-to-date knowledge of special education practices
  • where appropriate, working with special education staff and parents to develop IEPs for exceptional pupils
  • providing the program for an exceptional pupil in the regular class, as outlined in his or her IEP
  • communicating the student’s progress to parents
  • working with other school board staff to review and update the student’s IEP

Special Education Teachers

In addition to the responsibilities listed above under “Teachers”, special education teachers have the responsibility to:

  • hold qualifications to teach special education
  • provide programs for exceptional pupils, as outlined in their IEPs, in a regular class, or in an alternative setting, such as a special education class, for all or part of the day
  • monitor the student’s progress with reference to his or her IEP and modify the program as necessary
  • advise regular classroom teachers on strategies and accommodations
  • assist in providing educational assessments for exceptional pupils

Parents and Guardians

The responsibilities of parents and guardians that have children with special education needs include:

  • participating in IPRCs, parent-teacher conferences, and other relevant school activities
  • participating in the development of the IEP
  • becoming acquainted with the school staff
  • working with, and supporting, your child at home
  • working with the school principal and teachers to solve problems


Students are responsible for:

  • attending classes
  • meeting evaluation and assessment requirements
  • exercising self-discipline and behaving courteously towards both their teachers and fellow students
  • complying with board policies and procedures
  • participating in IPRCs, IEP development, transition planning, parent-teacher conferences, and other activities if 16 years or older, or at the request of parents and school personnel

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