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SCHOOL ACT — Continued
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 412

Part 9 — General

Division 1 — Ministry of Education, Skills and Training

Ministry of Education, Skills and Training

167 (1) There must continue to be a ministry of the public service of British Columbia called the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training 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 of Education, Skills and Training, 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, and providing in them specialized types of education,

(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 distance educational programs and the tuition and other fees to be charged with respect to those 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,

(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 the accounting records referred to in section 156 (1) and (13) or, in the case of francophone education authorities, under section 166.37, and

(p) 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.

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 of Education, Skills and Training, a person who is or has been

(a) an employee of the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training, or

(b) engaged by the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training 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 of Education, Skills and Training 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.

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

(a) determining the number of full time students or the equivalent of full time students for the purposes of establishing and allocating Provincial funding under sections 107 and 108;

(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.

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) the Institute of Technology Act;

(c) the Open Learning Agency Act;

(d) the Royal Roads University Act;

(e) the Technical University of British Columbia Act;

(f) the University Act;

(g) the University of Northern British Columbia Act;

"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 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) section 14.1 (5) of the Institute of Technology Act;

(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) section 70.1 (2) of the University Act, as it applies under section 16 of the Technical University of British Columbia Act;

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

(g) section 70.1 (2) of the University Act as it applies under section 16 of the University of Northern British Columbia Act.

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 of Education, Skills and Training.

(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 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) there is substantial non-compliance with this Act or the regulations or any rules or orders made under this Act, or

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

(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 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint one or more boards of examiners consisting of 2 or more members, and a board of examiners so appointed must include at least one representative of the Ministry of Education, Skills and Training and one person appointed to represent the universities named in the 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) The boards of examiners must cause to be conducted examinations in the manner specified by the minister and must report on them to the minister.

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;

(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) respecting the accreditation of schools;

(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.

(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) Without limiting subsections (1) and (2), regulations may be made under subsection (2) (j) as follows:

(a) respecting the procedures to be followed in the accreditation process and the duties to be performed in that process by boards, superintendents of schools, teachers, administrative officers and others;

(b) delegating to the minister and boards any powers considered necessary to facilitate the accreditation process including, without limitation, the power to direct the manner in which and the time within which teachers and administrative officers of a school designated for accreditation must assist in securing that accreditation;

(c) respecting the reporting requirements to be fulfilled in relation to schools to which a certificate of accreditation has been provided.

(5) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may

(a) in case of doubt, determine whether an expense is a capital expense or an operating expense, either for a board or a francophone education authority,

(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.

(6) Without limiting subsections (1) to (5), 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 directors of francophone education authorities for the purposes of section 166.18,

(e) prescribing the number of directors 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 directors to be held under section 166.2,

(h) prescribing additional duties of the chief executive officer 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 directors of a francophone education authority, the regulation may determine the manner in which and the times at which the new directors under the regulation are to be appointed or elected, or

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

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 an administrative officer 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 administrative officer 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) An administrative officer 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.

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Copyright (c) 2001: Queen’s Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada