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Amendments to Education Act Reinforce Student Safety

Student safety and protection will be strengthened with amendments to the Education Act introduced today, March 13.

“We need to ensure that we are providing a safe, inclusive learning environment for students across the province while protecting the integrity of the education profession,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “This is about standardizing and strengthening reporting requirements for employees.

“Children and students are our most vulnerable population. We owe it to them to ensure we are doing everything in our power to keep them safe.”

Specific changes to the act include:
— mandatory criminal record checks for regional centre and Conseil scolaire acadien provincial employees on a regular and ongoing basis during their employment
— all employees having to sign a declaration each school year indicating they have not been convicted of a criminal offence
— all employees being required to report to their employers if they have been charged or convicted of a criminal offence immediately
— additional amendments to standardize pre-employment checks including the vulnerable sector check and the child abuse registry check. This will ensure they are applied consistently across all regional centres for education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.

The legislation also allows for regulations that will set out record check requirements for other individuals such as volunteers.

Nova Scotia’s public education system employs approximately 20,000 teaching and non-teaching staff and supports more than 120,000 thousand students.

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Source : Media Release

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