GNB: Amendments to Education Act aimed at empowering the school system
17 March 2021
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Legislation introduced today by the provincial government would amend the Education Act to empower the school system and provide increased support for teachers and students.
Proposals set out in an Act Respecting Empowering the School System is intended to support teachers in managing their classrooms and to ensure schools offer a positive learning and working environment, free from intimidation and abuse.
“Our children deserve a world-class education system and a key element of building it is making sure our legislation meets the needs of the system today,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “Empowering teachers and principals to make decisions on how to best reach students in their schools and overcome obstacles that make it harder to innovate in the classroom is a critical part of this work.”
The bill includes amendments related to several other topics, including:
- changes to increase transparency as it relates to the investigation process and results of discipline for school personnel;
- updated language pertaining to references to Indigenous people;
- modifications to allow for the appointment of sales and recruitment agents to facilitate the sale of educational programs, services and materials both in Canada and abroad;
- clarification of conflict of interest rules for district education council members, as well as a requirement for a council code of conduct; and
- changes that will allow teachers with specialized training to administer and interpret a psychoeducational assessment to support the development of a student’s personal learning plan.
The proposed amendments also include housekeeping items intended to ensure the smooth functioning of the education system, including the use of modernized and gender-neutral language, and appropriate policy-making authority to support the school system.
The proposals put forward in the bill are the result of an extensive consultation process with stakeholders within the school system and ongoing collaboration with First Nation communities. This included:
- a three-day provincial education summit, which was designed to encourage teachers, students, parents, early childhood educators,
- education and business stakeholders to reimagine education,
“The amendments are reflective of feedback we received through the consultation process and reflect important work already underway at the department to modernize the education system and build respectful relationships with partners,” said Cardy. “We are grateful to all those who participated in these important discussions about the future of education in our province.”
The bill also addresses concerns brought forward by the school districts, district education councils and New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation.
Flavio Nienow, communications, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, [email protected]