Nova Scotia Overview

Education Reform Act

What is the Education Reform Act?


Education Reform Act

EECD uses the Education Reform Act (effective April 1, 2018) to govern the administration of the all English language public schools in Nova Scotia. There are sections in the Education Reform Act for Mi’kmaq Education and African-Canadian Education. The conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) Education Act will continue to govern the administration of all Acadian and French language public schools until separate legislation is developed.

These acts and their regulations set out duties and responsibilities of the Minister of Education and the duties and responsibilities of regional centres, principals, teachers, parents and students.

Below are sample sections from the Education Reform Act.

Public Schools

All public schools established are free schools.

Every resident of the province over the age of five years and under the age of twenty-one years has the right to attend public school serving the school region in which the person resides, as assigned by a regional centre.

Home Education

A parent may provide to a child of the parent a home education program centered in the child’s home.

Private Schools

A child may attend a private school.


It is the duty of a student to:

  • participate fully in learning opportunities
  • attend school regularly and on time
  • contribute to an orderly and safe learning environment
  • respect the rights of others
  • follow the discipline policies of the school and the school district.


It is the duty of parents to:

  • support their children in achieving learning success
  • make sure their children attend school as required by the regulations
  • communicate regularly with their children’s school
  • make sure the basic needs of their children are met, including making sure that their children are well-fed and well-rested when they go to school
  • support their children’s teachers in their efforts to provide an education for their children.


It is the duty of a teacher in a public school to:

Teaching & Student Learning:

  • teach energetically the subjects and courses of study set out by the regulations that are given to the teacher by the school district
  • put teaching strategies in place that encourage a positive learning environment aimed at helping students achieve learning outcomes
  • encourage students in pursuing learning
  • observe the effectiveness of the teaching strategies by looking at outcomes achieved
  • keep their professional skill

Evaluating Student Outcomes:

  • review regularly with students their learning expectations and progress
  • carry out assessments and evaluations as are necessary to document student progress
  • use evaluation and assessment tools as required by the school district or by the Minister

Respect, Diversity & Inclusion:

  • respect the rights of students
  • acknowledge and try to accommodate differences when possible in learning styles
  • participate in individual-program planning and put individual program plans in place, as required, for students with special needs

Safety & Health:

  • take all reasonable steps necessary to create and keep an orderly and safe learning environment
  • keep appropriate order and discipline in the school or room under the teacher’s supervision and report to the principal or other person in charge of the school the actions of any student who engages in unacceptable behaviour
  • keep an attitude of concern for the self-respect and care of each student and encourage in each student an attitude of concern for the self-respect and care of others and a respect for religion, morality, truth, justice, love of country, humanity, equality, industry, moderation and all other virtues
  • take care of the health, comfort and safety of the students
  • report immediately to the principal the presence of any infectious or contagious disease in the school or the presence of any unclean condition in the school buildings or surroundings, and perform such duties as are from time to time set by or under the Health Protection Act

Attendance & Policies:

  • take all reasonable steps to make sure there is full and regular attendance at school of the students under the teacher’s supervision
  • keep detailed attendance records and report absent students to the principal as set by the regulations
  • communicate regularly with parents in regards to policies outlined by the school district
  • keep records as required by the school district or the Minister and allow the review of those records by the district, the superintendent or superintendent’s representative, the principal, the supervisor and the Minister or Minister’s representative or, on their request, provide the records to them


  • help in the development and putting in place of the school improvement plan
  • join, if possible, committees established within the school to improve student achievement and success
  • put programs and courses in place as set by the public school program
  • perform other duties as outlined by this Act or the regulations.


How do these duties compare with the duties of teachers in your first country?

  • Source

    Source: Education and Early Childhood Development Website

    This is the Legislation and Regulations download page for the EEDC website.

  • Source

    Source: The Education Reform Act

    Nova Scotia Legislature Bill No.72