In Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario, the ministry outlined its goals for education, including “Ensuring Equity.” By ensuring equity, “All children and students will be inspired to reach their full potential, with access to rich learning experiences that begin at birth and continue into adulthood.”
Ontario’s Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, first launched in 2009, aims to help educators across the province better identify and remove discriminatory biases and systemic barriers to support the achievement and well-being of all students. These barriers — related to racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of discrimination — may prevent some students from reaching their full potential.
The strategy builds on successful ministry, school board, and school policies and practices. As a result of the strategy, every school board has:
By ensuring equity in our education system, we can help all students achieve excellence, regardless of their background or personal circumstances. 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.