Interim policy for school board hiring practices

This policy is intended to provide school boards with guidance following the revocation of O. Reg. 274/12 until local policies are in place that meet the expectations as set out in the Policy/Program Memorandum.

This policy shall be applied in accordance with collective agreement obligations. In the event of a conflict between this policy and the terms within a collective agreement, the collective agreement prevails.

Any assignment or appointment of a person to a teaching position shall be made with due regard for the provision of the best possible program and the safety and well-being of the pupils, as required under Regulation 298 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Operation of Schools ― General) made under the Education Act, and in accordance with all other requirements set out in that Regulation, including the requirement that any assignment or appointment shall be made in accordance with the qualifications recorded on the teacher's certificate of qualification and registration.

Nothing in this interim policy shall be interpreted in a way that interferes with or controls:

  • the denominational aspects of a Roman Catholic school board;
  • the denominational aspects of a Protestant separate school board; or
  • the linguistic or cultural aspects of a French-language district school board.

Roster of occasional teachers and long-term occasional teachers list

Each board shall continue to maintain a roster of occasional teachers and a long-term occasional teachers list.

An occasional teacher may apply to the board to be placed on the the long-term occasional teachers list, if:

    • the teacher has been on the board's roster of occasional teachers for at least 10 months; and
    • the teacher has taught as an occasional teacher in one or more schools of the board for at least 20 full days during a 10-month period that is within the five years immediately preceding the day the application is submitted.

The board may place an applicant who meets the above criteria on the long-term occasional teacher’s list without an interview.

To support Ontario's school boards in developing a strong and diverse workforce to best serve the needs of their students and communities, this interim provincial hiring policy provides guidance on:

Fair hiring process

Job advertisements

Prior to appointing or assigning a teacher to a long-term (longer than 30 school days) or permanent teaching position a school board shall ensure job advertisements:

    • include the bona fide job requirements and qualifications, while following the requirements as outlined in R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 298 (Operation of Schools – General);
    • are written using unbiased and inclusive language (e.g. avoid gendered descriptors); and
    • clearly state that accommodation needs for an interview will be respected.

Candidate selection

After the job advertisement has closed the board shall:

  • Assess all applications, once the posting has closed, according to the requirements as identified in the job advertisement.
  • Interview teachers who have the required qualifications.
    • The teachers interviewed should include, among other candidates, one teacher who has the most seniority on the board's long-term occasional teachers list who has applied to the position and has the required qualifications.
    • In selecting teachers for interviews, boards should, where applicants have demonstrated their ability to meet the mandatory requirements, consider:
      • diversity and equity;
      • merit and additional qualifications and experience; and
      • early-career educators.

    Interviews

    School boards should:

    • Consider using multiple sources and methods to evaluate teachers during the interview process. This may include, for example, an interview, a presentation, or a written component. Teachers will be informed ahead of time what methods will be used during the interview process.
    • Conduct interviews, where possible, by a panel of two or more members.
    • Apply the same interview and assessment process to all teachers applying for a position taking into account accommodation requirements.
    • Ensure diversity on hiring panels to include individuals who have the knowledge and experience, including lived experience, to reflect the needs and interests of communities in the school that have been historically under-represented in decision-making.

    Rights of unsuccessful candidates

    • Following an interview, if a teacher is not placed on the long-term occasional teachers list or appointed or assigned to a long-term assignment or permanent position, the teacher is entitled, on request, to meet with the person or panel that conducted the interview to discuss:
      • their performance during the interview;
      • measures the teacher could take to enhance their professional qualifications; and
      • other ways to improve their chance of being successful in a similar interview in the future.

    Qualifications and merit

    In assigning or appointing a person to a teaching position (e.g., daily supply, occasional, long-term occasional, permanent) school boards should:

    • Consider merit to include formal qualifications and credentials as well as professional skills and aptitudes demonstrated through a fair and transparent hiring process.
    • Require hiring panels to review additional qualifications, including lived experiences, skillsets, backgrounds and varied work experience that may be considered valuable to the position (e.g. unique perspectives of under-represented groups, such as Indigenous peoples, Black or other racialized people, people with a disability, etc., the ability to speak multiple languages in addition to English or French, working with diverse communities locally or abroad, ability to lead a school band, or professional experience outside of the classroom).
    • Maintain due regard for the provision of the best possible program as determined by the principal, throughout the hiring process, with evidence of:
      • teaching commitment to students;
      • experience/time spent in a particular school;
      • suitability for a particular assignment; and
      • responsiveness to local needs based on clearly-defined criteria including qualifications.

    Promoting equity and diversity

    Having a diverse teaching workforce is vital to serve the needs of all students and communities within the board. Inequitable representation of historically disadvantaged groups in the workforce can lead to inequities in the educational experience and outcomes for excluded or marginalized students.

    Equity and diversity are critical factors that can be applied in the interview and hiring process as outlined in the Candidate Selection section of this policy.

    Boards should consider whether Special Programs under the Ontario Human Rights Code may be implemented to address the effects of systemic discrimination on identified groups based on Code grounds.

    Enhanced Teacher Employment Mobility

    To better enable teachers to exercise mobility between positions school boards shall grant an interview to a relocating permanent teacher who applies to be placed on the long-term occasional teachers list if that teacher is currently or has been employed by a public-school board in Ontario within the last calendar year.

    Early-career educators

    An early-career educator is someone who completed an initial teacher education program within the last five years. Early career educators are important to long-term succession planning and should be considered as outlined in the Candidate Selection section of this policy.

    Conflict of interest

    School boards shall give due regard throughout the hiring process to avoid any conflicts of interest, including nepotism and favouritism.

    In this section, “relationship” means any relationship of the employee to persons of:

    • their family whether related by blood, adoption, marriage, or common-law relationship;
    • an intimate and/or financial nature during the preceding five years; or
    • past or present private interests in connection with a candidate or applicant where their involvement in the hiring process could conflict with their duties.

    No employee of the Board shall participate in, or influence the outcome of, the hiring of a person with whom the employee has a relationship.

    Where the person with whom the employee has the relationship is one of multiple applicants or candidates in a competitive hiring process, the employee shall not participate in, or influence the outcome of, any aspect of that hiring process.

    Where an employee's duties would otherwise require them do something that is or may be prohibited by this section, the employee shall, immediately upon being made aware of the conflict of interest, disclose the nature and extent of the conflict to their supervisor. If the supervisor determines that a prohibition in this section applies, the supervisor shall then assign these duties to another person who does not have a conflict of interest, and shall give any further direction to the employee that the supervisor considers necessary to protect the integrity of the hiring process.