Protocol for visits to schools/work sites by politicians
During the course of the school year, schools and work sites may choose to invite local politicians in to speak to students, staff and/or families. These are site-based decisions that do not require approval from the Peel District School Board's Director's Office, unless the board has issued guidelines to follow ahead of a federal, provincial or municipal election.
As a federal election has been called for October 2019, only candidates who have traditionally attended school-related events at a specific school are able to attend this Fall. This restriction includes informal visits to classrooms and meetings with the School Council or with school administrators.
There are no restrictions on politicians at the municipal, regional or provincial level. As such, school staff may continue to invite these local politicians to attend their activities.
Pursuant to the Education Act, the Peel District School Board welcomes politicians, including Members of Provincial Parliament, Members of Parliament, City Councillors, Regional Councillors, and other elected officials to visit schools in their constituency outside of election season. Election guidelines will be posted on the Peel board website when they take effect, ie. in the lead-up to a federal, provincial or municipal election.
At this time, federal candidates will not be permitted to visit Peel board schools and/or work sites unless they receive approval from the Direcotr's Office. Other government officials may request a visit by following the steps outlined below.
Request to visit
All requests by politicians to visit Peel board schools and work sites must be directed to the office of the Director of Education for approval. An email outlining the following details must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours in advance of the proposed visit:
- the purpose of the requested visit
- the proposed school, date, time (and alternate times) for the visit
- who will be participating – number of students/staff
- if photos will be taken and shared online, on social media, in print – this requires consent (see number 5 for details)
A member of the Peel board's Communications and Community Relations team will get back to the requestor as soon as the Director's Office has made a decision.
In order to facilitate approved visits and to maintain the proper functioning of its schools, the Peel board requires that such visits comply with the requirements set out below:
- The Director of Education or designate shall invite a Supervisory Officer and Trustee to attend the visit, as deemed appropriate.
- The Director of Education or designate will confirm to the politician or their representative the approved time of the visit, and the names of the board representatives who will attend.
- The politician and their team shall attend the school or work site at the approved time and shall report directly to the office when they arrive. They and those who accompany the politician shall respect the board and school's Code of Conduct during the visit.
- Where any issue raised by a politician involves a particular student and/or parent/guardian, appropriate consents must be provided to authorize the sharing of personal information prior to any discussions in this regard.
- The politician and/or those accompanying the politician shall not photograph school staff or students, or publish any photographs online, on social media or in any publication without appropriate consent from staff and/or students' families. This consent must be obtained by the visiting politician prior to the visit. For students, a consent form would be provided by the politician/governing body for families to return; the school's consent form does not cover this. Verbal consent is sufficient for staff, but this must be documented by the visiting politician and/or their team.
- Any staff issues raised shall not be discussed with the politician, but shall be referred to the appropriate Board department.