Dave Bird – OFIS Professional Development Coordinator
On Thursday, October 24th, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Private Schools Unit’s London Regional Information Session, regarding the newly released (September 2013) Private Schools Policy and Procedures Manual.
Tony DiLena, Private Schools Coordinator, presented for most of the full-day session. He reported that private school enrolment has decreased from 107,000 to 100,000 students over the past two most recently reported years. At present, there are 1,016 private schools: 610 noninspected; 386 inspected (of which over 300 will be inspected this year); and 20 overseas schools. Tony acknowledged that Ontario is now the only province and territory in Canada that does not provide some form of financial support to private schools.
Tony emphasized 4 key changes in or coming into effect. Legislation, regulation & policies and procedures haven’t changed, but the Private Schools Unit is more actively enforcing compliance.
1. This academic year, campuses for inspected private schools will be eliminated. Instead, each campus will be required to file its own Notice of Intention to Operate (NOI) and will have its own Board/School Identification Number (BSID). As a result, inspection fees (which will be $4,050 next year) will apply to each and every former campus. For now, non-inspected schools will not be required to eliminate campuses.
2. The Ministry will now consider the possible revocation of an inspected school’s BSID, following any loss of its credit-granting authority.
3. Effective September 1st, 2014, an NOI will not be accepted unless ONSIS reporting is current.
4. Effective September 1st, 2014, an NOI will not be accepted if payment of previous years’ inspection fees are more than 6 months in arrears.
5. Effective immediately, diplomas and certificates (of accomplishment) can only be ordered in quantities which reconcile with graduating enrolment information, together with an additional 5% margin for error.
Over the past few years, the number of NOIs filed late (after September 1st) has decreased from from 79 to 15 to 1. Tony has now announced that there will be absolutely zero tolerance on September 1st 2014 for any further late NOI filings.
Curriculum guidelines and supporting documents can be publicly accessed at www.edugains.ca