For a more effective Student Ombudsman
QUÉBEC CITY, May 16 2018 – Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region presented An Act mainly to strengthen the role and independence of the Student Ombudsman today in the National Assembly. The Government of Québec is reaffirming its will to act on behalf of the students and parents of Québec by putting a simpler and more efficient complaint system in place in schools.
With this bill, the Student Ombudsman will have more powers, the complaint examination procedure will be simplified and standardized, the Student Ombudsman will be nominated by the Minister for more independence, and the Québec Ombudsman (Public Protector) will have jurisdiction.
With this bill, the Government of Québec continues to act for the parents and students of Québec by reinforcing the role and the independence of the Student Ombudsman, who would become the main actor in handling complaints. To ensure educational success for all, it is imperative that schools offer a wholesome, safe and respectful environment. The bill presented today is an important additional tool that can help to provide that environment.
– Sébastien Proulx, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region
- The proposed changes stem from the recommendations put forward by the Québec Ombudsman in her most recent report on October 31, 2017.
The bill proposes:
- A new, standardized examination procedure for complaints made about student services, to be used in all school boards;
- The nomination of the Student Ombudsman by the Minister from a list of names proposed by a joint committee that includes parents;
- The opportunity for the complainant to go directly to the Student Ombudsman in the first instance as the main actor in the complaint process;
- More power for the Student Ombudsman, including the power to request additional information and documentation in order to carry out his/her work;
- The Québec Ombudsman (Public Protector) as a second recourse who can make recommendations to the council of commissioners;
- That the Minister have the power to order a school board to act on a recommendation made by the Québec Ombudsman concerning a complaint;
- The creation of an oversight and service quality committee that will ensure that the recommendations of the Student Ombudsman and the Québec Ombudsman and the orders of the Minister are followed;
- The designation of a ministerial representative to ensure communication between the ministry and the Student Ombudsmen;
- Continuing education for Student Ombudsmen, to be offered jointly by the ministry and the Québec Ombudsman;
- Obligating private schools to create a complaint procedure that will be included in the educational services contracts they make with parents;
- That the Minister be given the power to make recommendations to private schools regarding their services;
- That the Minister be given the power to offer help and support to complainants.