A Hard Act to Follow: Notes on Ontario School Law


130 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-7713-1051-0




Reviewed by Edward L. Edmonds

Edward L. Edmonds is a professor of education at the University of
Prince Edward Island and an honorary chief of the Lennox Island
Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island.


The Guidance Centre of the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto, has over the years established an excellent reputation for publishing explanatory booklets on various aspects of education. This present booklet admirably lives up to that reputation. It is a revised edition of the 1982 publication, with new material added to keep the book contemporary in the light of recent changes.

After a brief introduction on the nature of the democratic process as it relates to education, the authors outline the main provisions of the Education Act of 1974 (which consolidated five previous Acts). A distinction is carefully made between public and separate schools, followed by a masterly summary of the responsibilities (mandatory and permissive) of school boards in the province. All teachers should read the notes on the Teaching Profession Act, the Collective Negotiations Act, and the Teachers’ Superannuation Act.

School administrators will welcome the brief note on the Trespass to Property Act, and the note on Regulation 262 relating to qualifications and professional duties of principals, vice-principals, and teachers. Regulation 274 represents one of the most enlightened attitudes to special education programs and services on this continent. The booklet ends with a valuable summary of regulations relating to curriculum and program.

In short, this booklet may be confidently recommended as background reading for all interested in education. It refers, of course, to only one province; but readers outside Ontario will find much to compare and contrast with their own provincial School Acts. As one who lectures in educational administration, this reviewer will use it as essential reading for his classes.


Gilbert, V.K., R.A. Martin, and A.T. Sheehan, “A Hard Act to Follow: Notes on Ontario School Law,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 22, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37837.