A question parents ask
almost as much as "Which is the best private school
?” is "Do private schools employ teachers who
are members of the Ontario College of Teachers?” In Ontario, private schools
operate as businesses or non-profit organizations. The Ministry of Education
does not regulate, licence, accredit or oversee the operation of private
schools and teachers in private schools are not required to be certified.
Since private schools do
not receive any funding or financial support from the province, they are
allowed to establish their own qualifications and criteria for their teaching
staff. However, the Ministry of Education does require private schools to have
the following in place:
- A principal in charge of the school;
- Evaluation of student achievement;
- Control over quality of instruction;
- A standard school-wide assessment and
- Common procedures for reporting to parents;
- A school-wide attendance policy;
- A central office to maintain student records.
Teachers that are
certified are listed on the College's public register that is available online.
The College has no control over teachers they have not certified.
What Is the Ontario
College of Teachers?
The Ontario College of
Teachers is the regulatory body for the teaching profession in the province of
Ontario whose mandate is to license, govern and regulate the practice of
teaching. The College is responsible for developing standards for:
- The practice of teaching;
- Regulating ongoing teacher certification and
- Member discipline;
- Accrediting teacher education programs.
The College of Teachers is
accountable to the public and also investigates claims of misconduct made
Teachers who work in
publicly funded schools in Ontario must have teaching certificates from a
program approved by the Ontario College of Teachers and must be members of the
College by paying an annual fee to maintain their certification, which is their
licence to teach.
Qualifications of Teachers
in Private Schools
Although not compulsory,
many private schools will require its teachers to be members of the Ontario
College of Teachers as a condition of employment. Teachers working in private
schools where a licence to teach is not a condition of employment may join the
College for the benefit of holding a licence and maintaining membership with a
For example, many private schools in
operate under the philosophy that their
teachers are their greatest resource and should exemplify the qualities that
they seek to develop in its students such as:
- Strong personal values;
- Commitment to lifelong learning;
- Intellectual capacity;
Private schools have a
tendency to hire teachers that have a bachelor's or master's degree in their
subject. Teachers at most prep schools
Ontario pursue professional development opportunities on an ongoing basis that
allows them to implement the most up-to-date teaching methods and innovative
Parents Must Set Their Own
Benchmarks for Private School Teachers
Teaching in a private
school has great benefits for teachers as they have more control over the
curriculum. But, it's important for parents to conduct thorough research before
registering their child at a private school and to make sure that the teaching
staff's qualifications are up to par.
Since private schools
don't necessarily employ teachers who are members of the Ontario College of
teachers, parents must choose a private school with care.