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School Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 412

Part 9 — General

Division 1 —  Ministry of Education

Ministry of Education

167  (1) There must continue to be a ministry of the public service of British Columbia called the Ministry of Education over which the minister must continue to preside and have direction.

(2) A deputy minister and other employees required to conduct the business of the ministry may be appointed under the Public Service Act.

Jurisdiction of minister

168  (1) The minister, subject to this Act and the regulations,

(a) has charge of the maintenance and management of all Provincial schools established under this Act,

(b) must advise the Lieutenant Governor in Council on all matters relating to education in British Columbia,

(c) may designate a member of the public service to act on behalf of the minister, and

(d) may charge fees with respect to any goods or services provided by the minister or the ministry, and may establish different fees for different circumstances.

(2) The minister may make orders for the purpose of carrying out any of the minister's powers, duties or functions under this Act and, without restriction, may make orders

(a) governing the provision of educational programs,

(b) subject to subsection (5), determining the general requirements for graduation from an educational program,

(c) determining the general nature of educational programs for use in schools and francophone schools and specifying educational program guides,

(d) preparing a process for the assessment of the effectiveness of educational programs and requiring a board or a francophone education authority to cause its schools to participate in the process for the purpose of comparison to provincial, national and international standards,

(d.1) preparing a process for measuring individual student performance, and requiring a board or a francophone education authority to cause its schools to participate in the process for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness of educational programs,

(e) governing educational resource materials in support of educational programs,

(f) establishing and causing to be operated Provincial resource programs and Provincial schools in British Columbia,

(g) requiring a board to close a school if the number of students attending the school falls below 8,

(g.1) requiring a francophone education authority to close a francophone school if the number of francophone students falls below 8,

(h) respecting distributed learning educational programs,

(i) establishing committees and authorizing the payment of expenses to the members of the committees and other advisory bodies established by or under this Act,

(j) governing fees that may be charged by a board or a francophone education authority, and those fees may be different for different circumstances,

( j.1designating an educational activity or a category of educational activities for the purposes of section 168.1,

( j.2establishing, for the purposes of section 168.1, the amount a student or a child registered under section 13 may be reimbursed, including

( isetting the maximum amount that may be paid,

( iiestablishing a limit on the number of educational activities or categories of educational activities for which reimbursement may be made, and

( iiisetting different amounts and different limits for different educational activities or different categories of educational activities,

(k) respecting the use of student records, and records referred to in paragraph (d) of the definition of "student record", by boards and francophone education authorities,

(k.1) respecting the circumstances in which persons other than students and francophone students and their parents, and employees of boards and francophone education authorities, must have access to student records,

(l) establishing policies and procedures that are to be followed by boards and francophone education authorities in a tendering process related to a capital expenditure by the board or francophone education authority,

(m) designating one or more of the non-instructional periods permitted under the regulations to be scheduled and used for a specific purpose,

(n) respecting the appointment of auditors under section 158 (1) or, in the case of francophone education authorities, under section 166.37,

(o) respecting accounting, accounting records and financial reports and statements referred to in sections 156 (1), 157 (2) and 157.1,

(p) respecting the opening and closing of schools under section 73 (1) (a),

(q) respecting a board assisting in paying the cost of a person attending an educational institution outside of British Columbia under section 83 (b),

(r) respecting the form and content of accountability contracts under section 79.2,

(s) respecting the appointment, remuneration and duties of a special advisor,

( s.1establishing Provincial standards for a code of conduct required under section 85 (1.1), and

(t) that the minister otherwise considers advisable to effectively administer this Act or the regulations.

(2.1) An order made under subsection (2) (d.1) may provide for the reporting of student performance, on an individual or aggregate basis, to a board or francophone education authority so that it may assess the effectiveness of the educational programs it delivers.

(3) The minister, or with the approval of the minister, a board or a francophone education authority, may enter into an agreement with a school authority outside British Columbia for the education of children for whose education that school authority is responsible.

(4) The minister may grant an approval or authorization under this Act with or without conditions.

(5) The minister may, with the minister responsible for public post-secondary institutions, establish the requirements for obtaining the British Columbia Adult Graduation Diploma.

( 6The minister may issue the following:

( aa British Columbia Certificate of Graduation to

( ia student who is enrolled at a school, francophone school or Provincial school, if the student has met the general requirements for graduation established by order of the minister, or

( iia non-resident person whose study outside British Columbia is under or related to an agreement entered into by the minister under subsection (3) with a school authority responsible for the education of the person, if the person has met the general requirements for graduation established by order of the minister;

( ba British Columbia Adult Graduation Diploma to a person who meets the requirements established under subsection (5).

Reimbursement of expenses for designated educational activities

168.1  The minister may reimburse a student or a child registered under section 13 for expenses incurred for instruction, examination or certification with respect to an educational activity or a category of educational activities designated by the minister, in the amount established by the minister, if the student or child

( ais of school age,

( bis resident in British Columbia, within the meaning of section 82 (2), and

( cdemonstrates a standard of achievement, satisfactory to the minister, in the designated educational activity or category of educational activities.

Annual report and ministerial statement

169  (1) The minister must make annually a report on the state of education in British Columbia including the effectiveness of educational programs.

(2) An annual report made under this section must be laid before the Legislature by the minister during the session next following the end of the year for which the report is made.

(3) Subject to the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, the minister must from time to time issue a statement of education policy for British Columbia.

Non-disclosure of student records

170  (1) Except for the purposes of the administration of this Act or the Independent School Act or conducting the business of the ministry, a person who is or has been

(a) an employee of the ministry, or

(b) engaged by the ministry in the administration of this Act or the Independent School Act

must not knowingly disclose any information contained in a student record that identifies a student or francophone student.

(2) Despite subsection (1), a person referred to in that subsection may disclose information in a student record that identifies a student or francophone student if

(a) the disclosure is required by or under an enactment of British Columbia or Canada,

(b) the disclosure is to counsel in respect of a proceeding or is given in evidence in a proceeding, or

(c) the student or francophone student or, if that student is of school age, a parent of that student consents in writing to the disclosure.

(3) An employee of the ministry who has access to student records must swear an oath in the prescribed form.

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.

Personal education numbers

170.1  (1) In this section, "personal education number" means a unique identification number assigned to a person under subsection (2).

(2) The minister may assign a personal education number to the following persons:

(a) a student;

(b) a francophone student;

(c) a child registered under section 13;

(d) a student as defined in the Independent School Act;

( ea child participating in an early learning program;

( fat the request of a first nation, a person who is engaged in a program of studies at an educational institution operated by the first nation;

( ga person

( iwho is not resident in British Columbia, and

( iiwhose study outside British Columbia is under or related to an agreement entered into by the minister under section 168 (3) with a school authority that is responsible for the education of the person.

(3) The personal education number of a person referred to in subsection (2) may only be used for the following purposes:

(a) determining the amount of the operating grant under section 106.3 or the targeted grant under section 106.4;

(b) ensuring the efficient and effective use of grants paid under sections 114 and 115;

(c) determining enrollment in an independent school and ensuring the efficient and effective use of grants paid under the Independent School Act;

(d) researching and evaluating the effectiveness of boards, francophone education authorities and authorities governed by the Independent School Act and the programs, courses and curricula delivered by them;

(e) administering the processes referred to in section 168 (2) (d) and (d.1);

(f) administering Provincial examinations;

(g) issuing graduation credentials and transcripts;

(h) awarding Provincial scholarships and bursaries;

( idetermining the eligibility of persons to receive reimbursement of expenses under section 11.2 of the Independent School Act or section 168.1 of this Act;

( jenabling the services and functions of programs established by the ministry to provide educational services to

( istudents,

( iifrancophone students,

( iiichildren registered under section 13 of this Act, and

( ivstudents as defined under the Independent School Act;

( kconducting research and statistical analysis relating to the transition of individuals to post-secondary institutions.

Public post-secondary students

170.2  (1) In this section:

"personal education number" means a unique identification number for a student assigned or identified under subsection (2);

"public post-secondary institution" means an institution established or continued under one of the following Acts:

(a) the College and Institute Act;

(b) [Repealed 2004-33-30.]

(c) the Open Learning Agency Act;

(d) the Royal Roads University Act;

(d.1) the Thompson Rivers University Act;

(e) [Repealed 2002-35-13.]

(f) the University Act;

( g[Repealed 2007-16-24.]

"student" means a person who is, or is applying to be, a student of a public post-secondary institution.

(2) If the minister receives from the board of a public post-secondary institution the personal information the minister considers necessary with respect to a student, the minister must

(a) assign a personal education number to the student or identify a personal education number previously assigned to the student under section 170.1, and

(b) provide the personal education number to the board of that public post-secondary institution.

(3) The minister must provide to the minister responsible for public post-secondary institutions the personal information about a student that is in the possession of the minister if the minister responsible for public post-secondary institutions requests that information and provides the minister with a valid personal education number for that student.

(4) The personal information of a student obtained by the minister under any of the following provisions is to be used only for the purposes referred to in section 170.1 (3) (d):

(a) section 41.1 (5) of the College and Institute Act;

(b) [Repealed 2004-33-30.]

(c) section 7.1 (5) of the Open Learning Agency Act;

(d) section 70.1 (2) of the University Act, as it applies under section 16 of the Royal Roads University Act;

(e) [Repealed 2002-35-13.]

(f) section 70.1 (2) of the University Act;

(f.1) section 70.1 (2) of the University Act as it applies under section 4 of the Thompson Rivers University Act.

( g[Repealed 2007-16-24.]

( 5The personal information of a student obtained under this section by the minister responsible for public post-secondary institutions may be used only for the purposes referred to in the following provisions:

( asections 170.1 (3) (k) and 170.4 (4);

( bsection 33.2 (d) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Not in force

170.3  [Not in force.]

Student financial assistance

170.4  ( 1In this section:

" financial assistance"  has the same meaning as in the Canada Student Financial Assistance Regulations, and includes any form of financial assistance provided under

( athe BC Student Assistance Program,

( bthe Canada Student Financial Assistance Act, and

( cthe Canada Student Loans Act;

" personal education number"  means a unique identification number for a recipient assigned or identified under subsection (2);

" program"  means the BC Student Assistance Program;

" recipient"  means a person who is, or is applying to receive, financial assistance administered by the program.

( 2If the minister receives from the minister responsible for the administration of the program the personal information the minister considers necessary with respect to a recipient, the minister must

( aassign a personal education number to the recipient or identify a personal education number previously assigned to the recipient under section 170.1, and

( bprovide the personal education number to the minister responsible for the administration of the program.

( 3The minister must provide to the minister responsible for the program the personal information about a recipient that is in the possession of the minister if the minister responsible for the program requests that information and provides the minister with a valid personal education number for the recipient.

( 4The personal information of a recipient obtained under this section may be used by the minister responsible for the administration of the program only for the following purposes:

( aadministering the program;

( bconducting research and statistical analysis related to the program;

( cevaluating the effectiveness of the program.

Removal or destruction of individual identifiers

170.5  Any person using personal information for the purposes referred to in the following provisions must remove or destroy individual identifiers from that information at the earliest reasonable time:

( asection 170.1 (3) (d) and (k);

( bsection 170.4 (4) (b) and (c).

Division 2 —  Education Advisory Council

Education advisory council

171  (1) The minister must appoint an education advisory council to advise the minister on policy matters respecting education.

(2) The members of the education advisory council must be appointed for the term and in the manner determined by the minister.

(3) The education advisory council must meet at least twice annually or more frequently as determined by the minister.

(4) Meetings of the education advisory council must be presided over by a person representing the ministry.

(5) If a member of the education advisory council is not an individual, the member must appoint an individual to represent the member at meetings of the council.

(6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council must prescribe the terms of reference of the education advisory council.

Division 2.1 —  Special Advisor

Appointment of special advisor

171.1  (1) The minister, by order, may appoint a special advisor to a school district, for a term determined by the minister,

(a) to review the progress of the board in respect of its accountability contract or to inspect and evaluate any other matters as directed by the minister

(b) to assist the board in the conduct of the affairs of the school district in respect of any educational, financial or community matters , or

( cif the minister considers that

( ia superintendent of schools has failed to report to the council of the college under section 16 a matter that, in the opinion of the minister, should have been reported,

( iia board has failed to notify a superintendent of schools under section 16 (3) of a matter that, in the opinion of the minister, should have been the subject of a notice,

( iiia board has failed to report to the council of the college under section 16.1 a matter that, in the opinion of the minister, should have been reported, or

( iva board has failed to submit to the college information as required under section 25.1 of the Teaching Profession Act,

to investigate the circumstances of the failure.

(2) The special advisor must submit a report to the minister in respect of anything resulting from carrying out his or her duties under subsection (1).

(3) With the approval of the minister, the special advisor appointed under subsection (1) may

(a) appoint a deputy special advisor and other employees necessary for performing the duties of the special advisor,

(b) engage and retain specialists and consultants to carry out the duties of the special advisor, as required, and

(c) determine the remuneration of persons appointed or retained under paragraphs (a) and (b).

(4) The minister, by order, may require the board to pay

(a) the remuneration of the special advisor appointed under subsection (1) to the school district and any person appointed or retained under subsection (3) (a) and (b), at the rate determined by the minister, and

(b) the expenses of the special advisor.

(5) The minister may provide a direction to the special advisor or to the board respecting the duties of the special advisor.

Powers of special advisor

171.2  A special advisor appointed under section 171.1 may

(a) attend any meeting of the board,

(b) enter a school building or any other building used in conjunction with the school or offices of the board, or any part of them, for the purposes of performing his or her duties, and

(c) inspect any record of the board.

Responsibilities of the board

171.3  A board and its employees must assist a special advisor in the carrying out of the duties of the special advisor.

Division 2.2 —   Superintendents of Achievement

Appointment and duties of superintendent of achievement

171.4  ( 1The minister may, by order, appoint one or more superintendents of achievement.

( 2The minister may assign a superintendent of achievement to one or more school districts or francophone school districts.

( 3A superintendent of achievement assigned to a school district or francophone school district

( amust review

( istudent achievement and early learning programs in the school district or francophone school district, and

( iithe district literacy plan or francophone district literacy plan, as the case may be, for the school district or francophone school district,

( bmay make recommendations for improvement of student achievement, early learning programs and literacy in the school district or francophone school district to the board or the francophone education authority, as the case may be,

( cat the minister's request and on or before the date established by the minister, must submit to the minister a report on the superintendent of achievement's findings and recommendations for improvement of student achievement, early learning programs and literacy in the school district or francophone school district to which the superintendent of achievement is assigned, and

( dperform other duties the minister may assign to the superintendent of achievement.

( 4A report under subsection (3) (c) must be in the form and contain the information required by the minister.

Powers of inspection

171.5  For the purposes of performing his or her duties under this Act, a superintendent of achievement may do one or more of the following:

( aenter a school building or any other building, or any part of a building, used in conjunction with the school or offices of a board or francophone education authority;

( binspect any records of a board or francophone education authority and make copies of any of those records;

( cinterview students and employees of a board or francophone education authority;

( dattend any meeting of a board or francophone education authority.

Responsibilities of board or francophone education authority

171.6  A board or francophone education authority must

( aassist and cooperate with a superintendent of achievement in the carrying out of the duties of the superintendent of achievement, and

( bproduce and permit inspection of the records required by a superintendent of achievement within the time specified by the superintendent of achievement.

Division 3 —  Official Trustee

Appointment of official trustee

172  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint an official trustee to any school district to conduct the affairs of the school district if, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council,

(a)  there has been a default in a payment on the due date of either interest or principal of a debenture guaranteed under this Act or a failure to comply to the satisfaction of the minister with a condition governing the guarantee,

(b) the board is in serious financial jeopardy,

(c) subject to paragraph (c.1), there is substantial non-compliance with this Act or the regulations or any rules or orders made under this Act,

(c.1) the board contravenes section 76.5 (5) or (7) or fails to comply with a requirement imposed on the board under section 76.6 (2),

(d) there is substantial non-performance of the duties of the board,

(e) there is a risk to student achievement in the district and it is in the public interest to do so, or

( fthe board has failed to comply with an administrative directive issued by the minister under section 79.4.

(2) On the appointment of an official trustee to conduct the affairs of a school district, the trustees of the school district cease to hold office.

(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may remove an official trustee and order that elections be held in the school district or may appoint trustees to hold office in the school district until the next general local election.

Powers of official trustee

173  (1) An official trustee appointed under section 172

(a) has the powers and duties conferred by this Act on a board, and

(b) must be remunerated out of the funds of the board of the school district in which the official trustee is appointed or otherwise as the Lieutenant Governor in Council determines.

(2) In the exercise of a power or performance of a duty conferred under this Act on a board, an official trustee, with the approval of the minister, may deviate in matters of procedure and in the form of any notice or statement under this Act as the official trustee considers necessary for the more effective exercise of that power or duty.

(3) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations to adapt this Act to the conduct of the affairs of school districts to which official trustees are appointed.

Division 4 —  Examiners

Appointment of boards of examiners

174  ( 1The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint one or more boards of examiners to advise the minister on matters that are related to examinations.

( 1.1A board of examiners appointed under subsection (1) must consist of 2 or more members, and include at least one representative of the ministry and one person appointed to represent the universities named in the University Act, the Thompson Rivers University Act and the Trinity Western University Act.

(2) The members of a board of examiners may be paid remuneration and expenses at rates determined by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

(3) The minister may designate a member of a board of examiners as chair of the board of examiners.

( 4[Repealed 2007-16-26.]

Division 5 —  Lieutenant Governor in Council Regulations and Orders

Power to make regulations and orders

175  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.

(2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows:

(a) governing the conduct of schools;

(b) respecting school calendars;

(c) prescribing the duties of secretary treasurers and employees of a board who are members of the college;

(c.1) prescribing the duties of the secrétaire trésorier of a francophone education authority and employees of a francophone education authority who are members of the college;

(d) governing the manner, form and amount of insurance that must be maintained by a board;

(e) setting apart and reserving in each school district a quantity of Crown land that may be necessary for educational purposes in that district;

(f) defining any expression that is used but not defined in this Act;

(g) deeming a described class of persons to be employees of a specified board for the purposes of section 34;

(h) excepting a described class of persons from being employees of a specified board for the purposes of section 34;

(i) establishing one or more alternative oaths of office for the purposes of section 50;

(j) [Repealed 2002-53-86.]

(k) deeming one or more categories of persons to be ordinarily resident in a school district or in British Columbia for the purposes of section 82;

(l) varying the dates or times referred to in sections 79.2 (2), 106.2, 106.3, 110, 112, 113, 119 (3) and (6) and 137;

(m) respecting the evaluation of educational programs and services provided by a board for the purposes of section 75 (7);

(n) respecting the evaluation of francophone educational programs and services provided by a francophone education authority for the purposes of section 166.25 (6);

(o) respecting the assessment and evaluation of students by a member of the college;

(p) respecting the assessment and evaluation of francophone students by a member of the college;

(q) in respect of distributed learning schools and educational programs delivered through distributed learning, exempting the school or program from, or modifying, a requirement of the regulations;

( r[Not in force.]

( sprescribing criteria for the purposes of the definition of "specialty academy" in section 82.1.

(3) Without limiting subsections (1) and (2), regulations may be made under subsection (2) (b)

(a) to set a standard school calendar under section 78, and

(b) to set the conditions under which school calendars that differ from a standard school calendar may be adopted.

(4) [Repealed 2002-53-86.]

(5) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may

(a) [Repealed 2002-53-86.]

(b) authorize the minister to enter into an agreement with Canada for the education of Indian or other children for whose education Canada assumes responsibility, and

(c) vest in the minister the powers and authority considered necessary or advisable to effectively administer this Act and the regulations and to make orders for that purpose.

( 5.1Without limiting subsections (1) to (5), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of Part 6.1, including regulations prescribing

( a the manner in which a notice of an annual general meeting must be given, and

( b the manner in which an annual report may be made available to the public.

(6) Without limiting subsections (1) to (5.1), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations for the purposes of Part 8.1, including regulations

(a) prescribing a form of affirmation for the purposes of sections 166.13 (1) and 166.24 (4),

(b) prescribing a form of declaration for the purposes of section 166.14 (5) (a),

(c) [Repealed 1999-8-27.]

(d) respecting the election of regional trustees of francophone education authorities for the purposes of section 166.18,

(e) prescribing the number of regional trustees for a francophone education authority for the purposes of section 166.18 (2),

(f) prescribing the form of an oath of office for the purposes of section 166.19,

(g) respecting the procedures for by-elections of regional trustees to be held under section 166.2,

(h) prescribing additional duties of the directeur général of a francophone education authority for the purposes of section 166.27 (2) (c),

(i) respecting any matter or thing in respect of which the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations under subsections (2), (3) and (4), and

(j) respecting any matter or thing that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to facilitate the establishment and operation of francophone education authorities.

(7) Without limiting subsections (1) to (6), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, specify that one or more of the following instruments applies for the purposes of Part 8.1:

(a) an order of the minister made under this Act;

(b) an order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council made under this Act;

(c) a regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council made under this Act.

(8) An instrument may only be specified under subsection (7) if the instrument is in force on the day this section comes into force.

(9) A regulation made under subsection (6) (c) or (d) may

(a) adopt by reference any of the provisions of this Act or the Local Government Act respecting the election of school trustees with any modifications necessary to adapt those provisions to the purposes of Part 8.1, and

(b) provide that a person who is guilty of an offence for a contravention of a provision referred to in paragraph (a) is liable to the same penalties that apply to such an offence under the enactments referred to in that paragraph.

(10) If a regulation made under subsection (6) (e)

(a) increases the number of regional trustees of a francophone education authority, the regulation may determine the manner in which and the times at which the new regional trustees under the regulation are to be appointed or elected, or

(b) reduces the number of regional trustees of a francophone education authority, the regulation becomes effective for the following general election of regional trustees of the authority.

(11) A regulation made under subsection (2) (l)

(a) may vary the dates or times referred to in the sections listed in that subsection as those sections apply to francophone education authorities or for the purposes of Part 8.1, and

(b) may be made after the expiry of the date or time being varied.

Creation and alteration of school districts

176  (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by order,

(a) create school districts in addition to those already existing,

(b) define the boundaries of school districts created under paragraph (a),

(c) alter the boundaries of or abolish a school district, and

(d) change the name of a school district.

(2) The assets of the board of a school district, including funds, must be disposed of as directed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, having regard to the rights of creditors, if

(a) the area of the school district becomes included in another school district,

(b) part of the area of the school district becomes included in another school district, or

(c) the school district is abolished.

(3) Without limiting subsection (2), the Lieutenant Governor in Council may make provision for

(a) the use and administration of property used and administered by the board, but not vested in the board,

(b) the transfer and payment of the liabilities of the board and for raising funds necessary for payment of the liabilities, or

(c) the use and expenditure of the proceeds of the sale of any asset of the board.

Division 6 —  Offences

Maintenance of order

177  (1) A person must not disturb or interrupt the proceedings of a school or an official school function.

(2) A person who is directed to leave the land or premises of a school by a principal, vice principal, director of instruction or a person authorized by the board to make that direction

(a) must immediately leave the land and premises, and

(b) must not enter on the land and premises again except with prior approval from the principal, vice principal, director of instruction or a person who is authorized by the board to give that approval.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence.

(4) A principal, vice principal or director of instruction of a school or a person authorized by the board may, in order to restore order on school premises, require adequate assistance from a peace officer.

Contents  | Part 1  | Part 2  | Part 3  | Part 4  | Part 5  | Part 6  | Part 6.1  | Part 7  | Part 8  | Part 8.1  | Part 9  | Schedule