Ontario is taking important steps forward to reduce discrimination and embrace diversity in our schools to improve overall student achievement and reduce achievement gaps.
The Ontario Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy was launched in April 2009. All members of the school community are to be treated with respect and dignity. The strategy is helping educators across the province better identify and remove discriminatory biases and systemic barriers to student achievement. These barriers — related to racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination — may prevent some students from reaching their full potential. The strategy supports the government's key education priorities of high student achievement, reduced gaps in student achievement and increased accountability and public confidence in Ontario's publicly funded schools.
Students in our publicly funded education system – regardless of background or personal circumstances – must be given every opportunity to reach their full potential. Research shows that when students feel welcomed and accepted in their school, they are more likely to succeed academically. We want to create a culture of high expectations where factors such as race, gender and socio-economic status do not prevent students from achieving ambitious outcomes.
The strategy documents, Realizing the Promise of Diversity: Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy (PDF, 2.3 MB) and Quick Facts outline how the Ministry of Education, school boards and schools are supporting stronger equity and inclusive education in our schools.
The Policy/Program Memorandum (PPM) No. 119, “Developing Equity and Inclusive Policies in Ontario schools,” provides direction to school boards on the review, development, implementation and monitoring of equity and inclusive education policies to support student achievement.
The Equity and Inclusive Education in Ontario Schools: Guidelines for Policy Development and Implementation, 2014 helps boards review and/or continue to develop, implement, and monitor equity and inclusive education policies that support student achievement and well-being. The guidelines also offer practical strategies and advice, along with examples, templates, and web links that boards can use to inform policy review and ongoing development, implementation, and monitoring.
How Do We Know We Are Making a Difference? is a reflective tool designed to support school and system leaders in their ongoing reflection on how to strengthen implementation of Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy in their schools and boards. Leaders may use the resource to engage their students, staff, and communities in reflecting on the eight areas of focus that support the identification and elimination of barriers to student achievement and well-being at all levels.