2022 Elections – Parties must commit to professional services that meet student needs

MONTREAL, Sept. 12, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – La Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l’éducation du Québec (FPPE-CSQ) hope to see all political parties make a greater commitment to Education during the election campaign, and propose several solutions to improve professional services in schools, which do not currently meet the needs of students.

“In June, the Québec Ombudsperson produced a report decrying the insufficient supply of professional school services. He proposed a series of recommendations that the Fédération supports. We are not alone in saying that the few services offered to students do not meet their needs. However, it is a right enshrined in the Education Act to receive quality services,” said Jacques Landry, President of the Fédération.

Therefore, the FPPE (CSQ) is proposing four practical solutions, similar to those proposed by the Québec Ombudsperson, which should inspire the parties who wish to truly promote the success of all students.

1 ) Fund professional services based on student needs 

“The Québec Ombudsman is right to state that student services must be funded based on student needs, and not based on the availability of the current underfunding,” said Mr. Landry.

Pilot projects have been announced in some schools to change the method of funding student services. They would no longer rely on “ratings” given to students based on diagnostics. Will these projects be enough to implement a fair funding method that meets students’ needs? The FPPE has great hopes for this reworking and wants it to be maintained, even improved, as well as consulted thereafter.

2 ) A professional services threshold of one professional for 75 students 

In addition, the FPPE has been demanding an adequate level of professional services for several years to ensure a fair and well-distributed offer in all schools, as recommended in the report of the Québec Ombudsman.

The FPPE estimates that, in order to provide services that meet the needs of students, teachers and school administrators, the number of school professionals should increase from 8,500 full-time equivalents to 17,000, i.e., one professional for 75 students.

3 ) Promote the implementation of multidisciplinary teams around the students 

“Each professional has their own lens on the student, and combining all these views enables them to find the best solutions to facilitate student learning and development,” said Jacques Landry.

The FPPE proposes that the budgetary rules favour the development of multidisciplinary teams, particularly at the elementary school level where early intervention is essential, and allocate time for consultation, for the benefit of the students.

4 ) Promote the offer of public professional services directly in the student environment 

For several years now, the FPPE has been denouncing the difficulties in the public school network in retaining and attracting professionals for students.

To compensate for this glaring lack of resources, it has become increasingly common for the school network to call on the private sector to meet the demand, either through individual assessments or through private agencies that work directly in schools, such as nursing agencies in hospitals.

Like the FPPE, the Québec Ombudsperson noticed that the recommendations of stakeholders from the private sector are often not applicable in schools.

“The best quality professional interventions are those done in person, in the students’ environment, by a professional who works there continuously, and who can observe students and intervene with them in the classroom, schoolyard or hallways. This leads to a real link and follow-up over time with students, along with the school team and parents.” 

“What Quebec students need is a government that has the courage to improve salaries and working conditions for professionals in order to attract and retain them where it counts, while consulting them,” concluded Jacques Landry.

About the FPPE-CSQ   

The Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l’éducation du Québec (FPPE-CSQ) represents 19 unions with 11,000 members in almost all of Quebec’s Francophone and Anglophone school service centres, as well as the Cree and Kativik school boards. Its members include various categories of staff in the administrative, educational and direct student services sectors (including, but not limited to, psychologists, psycho-educators, speech-language pathologists, guidance counsellors, remedial teachers, etc.).  

SOURCE Fédération des professionnelles et professionnels de l’éducation du Québec (FPPE-CSQ)

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