B.C. launches review of College of Teachers

B.C.'s Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid has launched a review of the B.C. College of Teachers following concerns it has become dysfunctional.

B.C.'s Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid has launched a review of the B.C. College of Teachers following concerns the institute has become dysfunctional.

MacDiarmid said the review was based on a  request from the college's chair Richard Walker to address internal problems that have been brewing for months.

According to Walker there have been 270 complaints made against teachers since 2003 and not one has resulted in disciplinary action against a teacher.

"As a result of this request, I have engaged Don Avison as a fact finder to meet with the college council and stakeholder groups and report back to me," MacDairmid announced on Thursday.

Avison, a Victoria-base lawyer and former deputy minister, is expected to report back to the minister with conclusions and recommendations by Sept. 17, 2010.

The minister said the review is supported by the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils, the B.C. School Trustees Association, the Federation of Independent School Associations, the B.C. School Superintendents' Association, and the B.C. Principals' and Vice Principals' Association.

But the B.C. Teachers Federation, a separate labour organization representing teachers, was not listed amongst those supporting the review. 

The B.C. College of Teachers was created by the provincial government in 1987 to set standards and regulate professional conduct, qualifications and education for teachers. Its governing council has 20 members, including 12 elected by teachers.

The College also assesses applicants for admission, issues certificates of qualification, conducts reviews of certificate holders and suspends or cancels certificates when necessary.