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This seminar was jointly organised by the Ontario Ministry of Education and the OECD, to actively discuss Ontario’s policies and strategies, in the framework of the OECD project “Overcoming School Failure: Policies that Work”. It brought together Ontario participants and OECD expertise: Simon Field, Inyup Choi and Pauline Musset from the Secretariat, as well as international experts Richard Teese from Australia and Pasi Sahlberg from Finland.
About 80 participants attended this event, including different education stakeholders for Ontario and other provinces, academics, as well as attendees from the United States and other countries (Czech Republic, Sweden).
After an overview of the assessment process by Simon Field, Ministry officials gave a presentation about the various components of Ontario’s policies and strategies to improve equity in education. Richard Teese presented the OECD review of Ontario’s approaches, as well as tentative areas for policy debate in the following session, highlighting ten strengths and ten challenges of Ontario’s strategies. This preliminary set of conclusions was then discussed by participants in three smaller groups.
These discussions, as well as the previous one-day visit, allowed to identify the policies that have been effective in improving equity in education in Ontario, as well as the challenges that still remain, and the areas where there is room for policy improvement. Therefore, it provided interesting insights on how top-performing education systems with high regard to equity, such as Ontario, can support further improvement in equity in education.