Keeping track of the essential resources and programs in Ontario’s schools, and how they are affected by changes to provincial policy and funding.
Annual Ontario School Survey
Highlights from PFE's 2017/18 Annual Ontario School Survey
Our Annual Ontario School Survey (AOSS) provides an evidence-based, objective perspective on the impact of policy and funding changes on vital areas of public education, including special education, guidance counsellors, Indigenous education, childcare, fundraising, health, and the arts.
The 2018 report provides a blueprint for the new government, and calls for a focus on “the new basics for public education”.
Are you a school principal?
You can participate in this research initiative by completing the Ontario School Survey.
The information from the surveys provides an evidence-based, objective perspective on the impact of policy and funding changes on vital areas of public education, such as teacher-librarians, special education support services, and educational assistants.
Thank you to all of the survey participants and our funding partners for supporting this unique research project.
The story behind the survey
For over 20 years, People for Education has been using our annual school surveys to keep track of the effects of policy and funding changes in Ontario’s publicly funded schools.
In 1997, we asked parents and teachers across the province to send us their stories, because we wanted to know if the funding cuts that were being imposed at the time had an impact on students and schools. We were overwhelmed with the response. Stories came in from across the province, and revealed shared concerns about the impact of funding cuts on things like special education, libraries, music, and physical education programs.
In order to see the impact of policy and funding changes over time, we developed a survey to track the key staff and programs in elementary schools across Ontario. In 1998, the first Tracking Report was published, based on the results of the survey. It formed the baseline to monitor changes to funding and programs across the province.
In 2000, we developed a similar survey for secondary schools.
Our school survey reports have become a trusted source of information about Ontario’s schools, and have had an impact on policy and funding decisions.
Annual Ontario School Survey research
When schools support comprehensive health programs and resources—integrating all aspects of health and well-being, including mental, physical, social, sexual and relational health—the impacts on students are positive and lasting.
This report uses data from our annual Ontario School Survey to identify and address some of the gaps in Indigenous education in provincially funded schools.
Annual Ontario School Survey in the news
Global News: Report finds students with special needs in Ontario increasingly asked to stay home from school
This Global News story highlights our survey findings that a growing number of principals are asking special education students to stay home for part or all of the school day.
From this CBC report on our 2018 annual report on schools: "Principals are spending too much time doing menial managerial tasks and school boards are struggling to adequately support students' mental health."
This Toronto Star article about our 2018 annual report on publicly funded schools in Ontario focuses on the equity issues raised, including access to childcare, arts programs, and special education.