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Protecteur National de l'élève (PNE) 

The government of Quebec has introduced a new three-step national complaints handling procedure intended to ensure the safety and security of students across the province.

The National Student Ombudsperson (Protecteur national de l'élève) and a team of Regional Student Ombudspersons (Protecteurs régionaux de l’élève) will be working autonomously and external to the school network to ensure that student and parent rights are upheld, and that schools across the province are meeting important standards in student safety.

As always, the Faculty, Staff and Administration at BCS continue to be your primary communication link should you have any concerns about safety, security, school life, or academic programs.

The steps indicated below outline the updated procedures and highlight the role of both the government and schools, according to the recent amendments to the Act respecting private education.

 

Student & Parent Rights

The National Student Ombudsman is responsible for applying the complaint and report processing procedure in Quebec’s education system.

 As part of this province-wide and standardized procedure, the National Student Ombudsman is assisted by Regional Student Ombudsmen throughout Quebec. Together, they ensure that student and parent rights are upheld. As a result, they contribute to the continuous improvement of education system services.

Filing a Complaint

Should a parent or student be dissatisfied with the educational services they have received, are receiving, should have received, or need, they may file a complaint using the three-step process below.

STEP 1 : CONTACT THE PERSON DIRECTLY CONCERNED OR THEIR IMMEDIATE SUPERIOR 

  • The student or the parent who wishes to file a complaint will first contact the person directly concerned or their immediate superior.
  • The complaint may be verbal, but it is better if it is made in writing.
  • The person who receives the complaint has 10 working days to reply.

STEP 2 : CONTACT THE COMPLAINTS OFFICER

If the student or their parent is still dissatisfied with how the complaint is being handled, or if the 10-day deadline has expired, they may then contact the person responsible for processing complaints at BCS.

  • The complaint may be verbal, but it is better if it is made in writing.
  • The person responsible for processing complaints has 15 working days to respond.

The person responsible for processing complaints at BCS:

Mr. Kurt Johnson, Interim Head of School
Bishop's College School
80 chemin Moulton Hill Sherbrooke, QC J1M 1Z8
kjohnson@bishopschool.com
819.566.0238 x201

Complaint form

BCS COMPLAINTS OFFICER

Kurt Johnson, BCS'84
Interim Head of School
819.566.0238 x201
email

Complaint form

STEP 3 : CONTACT THE REGIONAL STUDENT OMBUDSMAN

If the student or their parent are still dissatisfied with how the complaint is being handled, or if the 15-day deadline has expired, you must contact the Regional Student Ombudsman in your region. The ombudsman will help you draft your written complaint.

The student or their parent may choose the form of communication that best suits them among the following:

Regional student ombudsmen have 20 working days to examine the complaint. If they determine that the complaint has merit, they will make recommendations to BCS.

Before the conclusions are sent, the National Student Ombudsman has 5 working days to inform the Regional Student Ombudsman of whether they intend to examine the complaint. If so, the National Student Ombudsman has 10 working days to complete the examination and to substitute their conclusions or recommendations for those of the Regional Student Ombudsman.

The Regional Student Ombudsman informs the complainant and BCS about the conclusions and recommendations.

BCS has 10 working days to inform the complainant and the Regional Student Ombudsman of whether it intends to follow up on the conclusions and recommendations made to it, or if it has decided not to act on them (along with the reasons why).

 

NOTE: In the case of sexual violence, the student or their parent may approach the Regional Student Ombudsman directly if they wish to do so.

REGIONAL STUDENT OMBUDSMAN

Caroline Audette
1 833.420.5233
email or email

Complaint form

Making a Report

A report, which anyone can make, is possible only if it concerns sexual violence[1] against a student who attends an educational institution.

Such a report is made directly to the Regional Student Ombudsman, omitting the first two steps, by:

  • a teacher
  • a non-teaching professional who works within the school system
  • an employee or a member of an educational institution’s managerial staff
  • another student or a parent of the student
  • etc.

The person who makes the report may choose the form of communication that best suits them among the following:

These reports are fast-tracked. Any information that might identify the person is kept confidential, unless the person consents to its disclosure. If a Regional Student Ombudsman considers it necessary, he or she can disclose the person’s identity to the Director of Youth Protection or to the police force concerned.

Regional Student Ombudsmen may also process a case of sexual violence on their own initiative.

[1]"The concept of sexual violence refers to any form of violence committed through sexual practices or by targeting sexuality, including sexual assault. It also refers to any other misconduct, including that relating to sexual and gender diversity, in such forms as unwanted direct or indirect gestures, comments, behaviours or attitudes with sexual connotations, including by a technological means.” For further information about acts of sexual violence, see the Government of Québec page on the forms of violence.

Protection Against Reprisal

The Act respecting the National Student Ombudsman protects against reprisal for people who, in good faith, make a report or file a complaint, cooperate in the processing of a report or complaint, or accompany a person who makes a report or files a complaint.

It is also prohibited to threaten to retaliate against a person to dissuade them from filing a complaint or making a report.

The following are presumed to be reprisal measures against students or their parents:

  • Depriving them of rights
  • Treating them differently
  • Suspending or expelling the student

For the staff members of an educational institution who make a report or cooperate in the examination of a complaint or report, the following are presumed to be reprisal measures:

  • Their demotion
  • Their suspension
  • Termination of their employment
  • Their transfer
  • Disciplinary sanctions or other measures that adversely affect their employment or working conditions

Fines for a natural person who retaliates or threatens to retaliate range from $2,000 to $20,000. Fines can vary from $10,000 to $250,000 for legal persons.