Policy Context

There is enormous coherence in the policy framework within which classrooms, schools and boards are operating. The S@S initiative took root within this context. As the next phase of this initiative, our hope is that this module will engage the reader in reflection and discussion about ways to deepen and expand our efforts to increase and expand the centrality of student voice and agency within their school environment and larger community.

The policy environment in Ontario supports this direction in education and the Ministry of Education’s Character Development Initiative provides a policy framework that guides the implementation of this vision. The initiative encompasses and overlaps with a number of other components of the Ministry’s Safe Schools Strategy, underscoring the centrality of safety as a precondition for learning. This module for teachers and school staff—part of OTF’s and COPA’s Safe@School initiative—is fully aligned with the Ministry’s overarching vision for creating safe, inclusive and accepting schools as a precursor for student well-being and success.

Besides the Character Development Initiative there are several other policies that support violence prevention and student engagement:

  • It’s Never Okay – an action plan to stop sexual violence and harassment
  • Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy
  • Parent Engagement Policy
  • Mental Health and Addictions Strategy
  • Aboriginal Education Strategy
  • Aménagement linguistique: A Policy for Ontario’s French-Language Schools and Francophone Community