Education can be confusing as to who can do what and what their rights are. Everyone has a voice because the decisions being made on education will affect everyone…. even those not yet born. Sometimes it feels like your own interests are more important because you have different experiences or a child with a unique circumstance but that is not true. Everyone has the right to be heard because hopefully the solution will benefit more individuals and ultimately all our children so if you have something you want to say.. speak up! Just remember to not attack or criticize the individual but the policy or the process being discussed. Click here to learn more or read an excerpt below. Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (VCPAC) has amassed excellent support material for parents.
Students: have the opportunity to avail themselves of a quality education consistent with their abilities, the opportunity to share in the shaping of their educational programs, and the opportunity to determine their career and occupational goals. They have a responsibility to make the most of their opportunities, to respect the rights of others, and to cooperate with fellow students in the achievement of their goals.
Parents: have the right and responsibility to participate in the process of determining the educational goals, policies and services provided for their children. They have a primary responsibility to ensure that children are provided with the healthy and supportive environment necessary for learning. They have a responsibility to help shape and support the goals of the school system and to share in the tasks of educating their young.
Teachers: have the right to exercise professional judgment in providing instruction to students in accordance with specified duties and powers. They have a corresponding responsibility to ensure that each student is provided with quality instruction, to participate in all normal school activities and to monitor the behavior and progress of each learner in accordance with provincial and local policies. They have a responsibility to communicate with students and parents, and are accountable to the School Board and its delegates.
School Principals: have the right to exercise professional judgment in managing the school in accordance with specified duties and powers. They have a corresponding responsibility to ensure that each student is provided with opportunities for a quality education. Principals are to provide administrative leadership, in consultation with teachers and the community that reflects the aspirations of parents and the school community and that is consistent with provincial and district guidelines. They cooperate with parents and the community in the delivery of noneducational support services to students, and focus on the following areas of school concern: (1) student access and achievement; (2) quality teaching; (3) communication with parents and the community; and (4) accountability to parents and to the Board.
School Boards: have a duty to govern districts and their schools in accordance with specified powers in a fiscally responsible and cost effective manner. They have a responsibility to ensure that schools provide students with opportunities for a quality education; to set education policies that reflect the aspirations of the community and that are consistent with overall provincial guidelines; to provide leadership and encouragement to schools and the community; to cooperate with the community and social service agencies in the delivery of non-educational support services to students; and to focus on the following areas of district concern: (1) implementation of provincial and local education programs; (2) school finance and facilities; (3) student access and achievement; (4) teaching performance; and (5) accountability to parents, taxpayers, the community and to the Province.
District Officials: have a duty to exercise professional judgment in managing the district in accordance with specified powers and duties. They have a corresponding responsibility to provide professional leadership in the design and implementation of education programs in districts, and are accountable to the local school board.
The College of Teachers: has the duty to establish and apply standards of fitness and qualifications governing admission to the teaching profession. The specific duties of the Council of the College are to approve, for certification purposes, teacher education programs established by provincial Faculties of Education, to define bylaws and policies related to the academic and professional qualifications of teachers, to issue teaching credentials, to investigate allegations of professional misconduct and, if necessary, to exercise professional judgment in disciplining its members. The College has the responsibility for encouraging and facilitating programs of continuing teacher education, professional development and inservice designed to ensure general teacher competence, and to improve the quality of teaching in provincial schools.
The Community: has the right to expect that every child will have access to quality education provided in a fiscally responsible and cost effective manner. The community, through local volunteer groups and private and public agencies, has a corresponding responsibility to support the family and school by providing children with a healthy and supportive environment in the community.
The Ministry of Education: has a duty to set policies for the British Columbia public school system in accordance with specified duties and powers. The Ministry has a corresponding responsibility to ensure that the education system provides students with opportunities for a quality education in a cost-effective manner; to set standards and overall directions for the education system; to provide leadership and encouragement to all educational agencies in the province; to cooperate with provincial agencies in the delivery of non-educational support services to students; and to focus at a high level of provincial concern on the following areas: (1) finance and facilities; (2) program direction, development and implementation; (3) student access and achievement; (4) teaching performance; and (5) system evaluation and public accountability.
Other Government Ministries and Agencies: have a duty to set policies in accordance with specified powers. They have a corresponding responsibility to ensure that provincial policies and resources support the family and local community in providing a healthy and supportive environment necessary for children’s learning.
The Public: The public of British Columbia has the right to expect that schools operate effectively and efficiently and are accountable for evaluating and reporting their progress on a regular basis. The public has the corresponding responsibility to provide schools with the necessary resources and moral support to fulfill their mission.