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

Part of knowing how the system works is to understand the roles and responsibilities of each person on your child’s education team, as well as the responsibilities of your child, your child’s school, the School Board, and the Ministry of Education.

Understanding these roles and responsibilities will ensure that the person you are with whom you are communicating has the authority to make decisions regarding a problem or concern you may have.  Understanding these roles and responsibilities will also help you in holding the members of your child’s education team accountable.

Understanding your own role and responsibilities as a parent or guardian is also important, and will help to put you in a good position when advocating on behalf of your child.  If you or your child are not living up to your responsibilities, it is difficult to claim that the school or school board is not living up to its responsibilities, if you or your child is not living up to your own responsibilities. 

In the sections on Special Education and Suspensions & Expulsions we will provide further details about the responsibilities of the members of your child’s education team, school boards, and the Ministry of Education in these areas.

The Ministry of Education

The Minister of Education represents the interests of the Ministry of Education at cabinet and oversees the development of education legislation, regulations, and policies.

The Ministry’s roles and responsibilities fall within four main areas:

  • legislation, regulation, and policy development
  • funding and fiscal management
  • setting policies and guidelines for school system management, including school trustees, Directors of Education, Principals, and other School Board officials
  • developing programs and curriculum and setting requirements for student diplomas and certificates, and approving textbooks and other learning materials

School Boards

Ontario’s School Boards operate Ontario’s publicly funded schools.  Local School Boards are responsible for the delivery of services according to the Education Act and its regulations and policies.

School boards are responsible for:

  • determining the number, size, and location of schools
  • building, equipping, and furnishing schools
  • providing education programs that meet the needs of the school community, including needs for special education
  • preparing an annual budget
  • supervising the operation of schools and their teaching programs
  • developing policy for safe arrival programs for elementary schools
  • establishing a school council at each school
  • hiring teachers and other staff
  • helping teachers improve their teaching practices
  • enforcing student attendance in accordance with the Education Act

School Principals

It is in the schools and classrooms that programs and services are delivered.  The school personnel are responsible for direct delivery of services and decisions made about your child’s education.

Principals are responsible for the organization and management of individual schools, including any budget assigned to the school by the school board.  They are also responsible for the quality of instruction at their school and for student discipline.  One or more vice-principals may also be assigned to the school to help the principal with his or her work.

Principals are responsible for:

  • admitting and placing students
  • administering the school’s budget
  • maintaining student records
  • ensuring report cards are sent to parents
  • developing a school safe arrival program with the help of the school council, parents, and the community in elementary schools
  • ensuring student supervision and school discipline
  • determining the organization of the school and ensuring ongoing maintenance of the school buildings
  • assigning teachers to classes, and assisting and supervising them
  • making recommendations to the school board on the appointment, promotion, demotion, and dismissal of teachers


Teachers are responsible for:

  • preparing lesson plans and teaching classes
  • encouraging students in their studies and evaluating their work and progress
  • supervising student behaviour and maintaining classroom discipline
  • demonstrating good citizenship and respect for all groups of people
  • acting as teacher-advisors for students in Grades 7 to 11 (for example, helping students complete their annual education plans, and monitoring their school performance and progress towards career goals).

Parents and Guardians

Parents and guardians also have rights, roles, and responsibilities.

Parents and guardians are responsible for...

  • ensuring that their children attend school regularly and on time
  • promptly reporting to the school their child’s absence or late arrival
  • helping their child be neat, appropriately dressed and prepared for school
  • showing an active interest in their child's school work and progress
  • becoming familiar with and informed about board policies and procedures in areas that affect their children
  • becoming familiar with the Code of Conduct and school rules
  • communicating regularly with the school
  • participating in meetings with teachers and other member’s of your child’s education team
  • encouraging and assist their child in following the rules of behaviour
  • assisting school staff in dealing with disciplinary issues.


Students in Ontario’s public education system are entitled to being treated with dignity and respect.  In return, students have the following responsibilities.

Students are responsible for...

  • arriving at school prepared, on time and ready to learn
  • showing respect for themselves, for others and for those in authority
  • refraining from bringing anything to school that may compromise the safety of others
  • following the established rules and taking responsibility for his or her own action

The following link to the Ministry of Education web site provides an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the Minister of Education, School Boards, Principals, Teachers, Students and Parents.

Roles and Responsibilities – Ministry of Education, Ontario

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