Administrative Procedure 475: Role of the School Principal

Legal References

Education Act: Section 283 Chief Executive Officer: Maintain an Effective Organization; Education Act: Section 265 Duties of Principal; Part X.2 Teacher Performance Appraisal; R.R.O. Reg. 298 Operation of Schools: Section 11 Duties of Principals; Guideline - Ontario Schools Code of Conduct

Related References

1. Responsibilities of the Principal

The Director of Education has developed this administrative procedure to establish guidelines that outline the reporting relationship, duties, and performance responsibilities for the important leadership position of school principal.

2. Reporting Relationship

2.1 The principal reports to the regional superintendent as designated by the Director.
2.2 The principal supervises and evaluates all staff members in the school and reports on their performance to the appropriate superintendent.
2.3 The principal works collaboratively with students, teachers and other school-based staff members, system resource personnel, parents, the school council, community members, fellow administrators and system administrators.

3. Primary Responsibilities

3.1 The principal is responsible for performing all of the duties set out in Section 265 of the Education Act.

3.2 The principal is responsible for performing all of the duties set out in Section 11 of R.R.O. Reg. 298.

3.3 While all of the duties in the legislation noted above are important, some specific responsibilities are addressed in more detail here because of their important connections with school and system goals, including the implementation of the board’s policies.

3.4 Section 11 in R.R.O. Reg. 298 refers to the principal’s responsibilities with regard to developing school action plans for improvement, based on the Education Quality and Accountability Office’s reports on the results of tests of students, and the communication of those plans to the school council and wider community.

3.5 The principal must also consider a variety of quantitative and qualitative assessments of student achievement provided by teachers and resource personnel. When developing the school action plan for improvement, the principal must seek the input of all staff members and consider staff recommendations to enhance the program, instruction, student evaluation and the learning environment in the school.

3.6 Section 11 sets out the principal’s responsibilities to develop a local code of conduct established under the Education Act, specifically under Part XIII - Behaviour, Discipline and Safety. Part XIII of the Education Act also describes in detail the principal’s duty to ensure the safety of students and staff members in the school, together with the procedures that support this goal.

3.7 Section 11 refers to the principal’s duty to conduct teacher performance appraisals using the system set out in Part X.2 of the Education Act. Part X.2 describes in detail the principal’s responsibilities to ensure that students receive the benefit of an education system staffed by teachers who are performing their duties satisfactorily. The principal also has a duty under this legislation to promote the professional growth of teachers.

3.8 The principal is responsible for the supervision and evaluation of the performance of all staff members in the school using the systems as determined by the administrative office. The appraisal system is a key method of providing professional growth for all staff members.

3.9 The principal is also responsible for duties assigned to the principal by the Director or designate(s).

3.10 It is important to note that the principal’s duties as set out in Section 265 of the Education Act are in addition to the principal’s duties as a teacher.

4. Leadership in the School and System

The principal’s role is of vital importance in providing leadership in the school, school community and in the system as a whole. The principal’s duties have a direct connection with the following areas of responsibility for the Director of Education:
  1. Commitment to students and student learning and achievement;
  2. Educational leadership;
  3. Fiscal responsibility;
  4. Compliance with legislation;
  5. Planning;
  6. Personnel management;
  7. Implementation and review of district procedures;
  8. Communications and community relations;
  9. Student, staff and district recognition and public relations; and,
  10. School and system leadership.
The principal’s performance is evaluated by the superintendent designated for this role by the Director of Education.
Amended October 2019