Ask the team: do you know of a student who’s been failed by their school?

Schools in the Ontario public school system are required to report all special needs cases to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP). But where do they track these cases? Our tool will let you know what the pattern is and what actions the school’s taken. So tell us: is there anything you’ve noticed?

The Ontario government has introduced a legislation which is due to come into effect on 30 July which will require the school to report all special needs cases – whether they are disability, English, First Nations or disabled – to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

Schools that fail to report cases to OSAP risk an additional fine of $10,000. There are currently nearly 4,000 schools in the province under investigation for not reporting.

As the province increases enforcement, will the school system handle this challenge more carefully or will more students be affected? How will the cases be kept track of and how will additional fines impact the system?

It is worth noting, that the legislation does not mandate the reporting of ALL disabilities, just ones that the school’s believe can be assessed and defined as special needs. So schools do not have to report ALL cases – just some ones they think can be diagnosed and receive help.

Any parent or caregiver who suspects that a student has been failed by their school in terms of access to support and appropriate care can report it anonymously to the ministry’s Ombudsman. This is a very easy process, so be sure to click on the link to find out more about how to share an issue with Ombudsman.

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