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The IPRC Appeal Process

What happens if I decide to appeal the decision of the IPR Committee?

If you do not agree with either the identification or placement decision made by the IPRC, you may:

  • within 15 days of receiving the IPRC decisions, request that the IPRC hold a second meeting to discuss their concerns
  • within 30 days of receiving of the decision, file a notice of appeal withthe secretary of the School Board

If the parent does not agree with the decision after the review meeting, he or she may file a notice of appeal within 15 days of receipt of the decision.

How do I appeal an IPRC decision?

If parents disagree with the identification or placement decisions of the IPRC, they can appeal in writing to the School Board.

The parent (or student 16 years or older) may, within 30 days of receipt of the original decision or within 15 days of receipt of the decision from the review meeting, give written notification of their intention to appeal the decision to the secretary of the School Board.

The notice of appeal must:

  • indicate the decision with which the parent disagrees; and
  • include a statement that sets out his or her reasons for disagreeing.

What Happens If I Appeal the Decisions of the IPR Committee?

The School Board will establish a Special Education Appeal Board.  The Appeal Board will be composed of three persons (one of whom is selected by you, the parent or guardian.  Members appointed to SEAB should have no prior knowledge of the matter under appeal.

What is a Special Education Appeal Board (SEAB)?

  • A Special Education Appeal Board (SEAB) is comprised of three members:
  • One member is selected by the school board;
  • One member is chosen by the parent; and
  • A chairperson, selected by the two members appointed by the School Board and the parent or guardian.  When those members cannot agree, the Chairperson is appointed by a district manager of the Ministry of Education.

The Chair of the Appeal Board will arrange a meeting to take place no later than 30 days after he or she has been selected (unless both parents and the School Board member provide written consent to a later date).

The Appeal Board will receive the material reviewed by the IPR Committee, and may interview any person who can contribute information about the matter under appeal.

You, and your child if he or she is 16 years of age or over, are entitled to be present at, and to participate in, all discussions of the SEAB.

The Recommendations of the SEAB

The SEAB must make its recommendations within 3 days of the meeting.

The Special Education Appeal Board can:

  • agree with the IPRC and recommend that the decision be implemented;  or
  • disagree with the IPRC and make a recommendation to the board about the student’s identification, placement, or both.

The SEAB will report its recommendations in writing, to the parent and to the School Board, and provide the reasons for its recommendations.

Within 30 days of receiving the Special Education Appeal Board’s recommendations, the School Board will decide what action it will take with respect to the recommendations.

The parent or guardian will be informed of the School Board decision in writing.

You may accept the decision of the School board, or may appeal in writing to the Secretary of the Ontario Special Education Tribunal.

Information about making an application to the Ontario Special Education Tribunal will be included with the recommendations of the SEAB.

Ontario Special Education Tribunal (OSET)

If parents are not satisfied with the recommendations of the SEAB or the school board’s response to the recommendation, the next step is to proceed to a formal Special Tribunal.

An Ontario Special Education Tribunal provides final and binding decisions in the event of disagreements between parent(s)/guardians(s) and school boards concerning the identification or placement of exceptional pupils.

Application to request a Tribunal must be filed with the Secretary of the Ontario Special Education Tribunal to schedule a hearing.

An Ontario Special Education Tribunal is a legal hearing that falls under the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.

The tribunal has two members and one chairperson. 

Both the parent or guardian and the School Board will both be given an opportunity to call witnesses and present their case before the tribunal.

You can find the Tribunal Rules of Procedure, Practice Directions, and the applicable legislation and regulation on the OSET website:

Because the Ontario Special Education Tribunal is a formal legal proceeding, parents should consider carefully whether they need a lawyer to assist them is presenting their case to the Tribunal.  It is advisable that parents or guardians contact one or more of the organizations listed in the section Basic Advocacy Skills—“I need a Lawyer!”

Judicial Review

According to the Education Act, the decision of a Special Education Tribunal is “final and    binding” on the School Board and the parents.

In some cases, however, the School Board or the parent or guardian may request a judicial review of the decisions of the Tribunal. If you want to pursue further action, contact a legal representative for advice about your specific case.

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