Ontario Student Trustees' Association Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontario_Student_Trustees'_Association

Ontario Student Trustees' Association
l'Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l'Ontario
IndustryEducation, Advocacy
Founded2000 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Key people

The Ontario Student Trustees' Association (French: l'Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l'Ontario), officially branded as OSTA-AECO, is a registered nonprofit, nonpartisan organization and the largest student stakeholder group in Ontario. The organization's members are student trustees from school boards across the province.

OSTA-AECO's mandate is to advocate on behalf of students at the provincial level, working closely with the Ministry of Education and other educational stakeholders. OSTA-AECO also provides professional development for Ontario's student trustees in the form of three annual conferences.[1]

The organization's General Assembly is composed of student trustees representing Public and Catholic school boards across Ontario. The association is divided into the Public Board Council (PBC) and the Catholic Board Council (CBC), which focus on initiatives specific to each educational system.[2]


OSTA-AECO was formed by a group of student trustees from the English-Public, English-Catholic, French-Public and French-Catholic systems, with a vision of uniting student voices. The inaugural meeting of OSTA-AECO occurred in Toronto in 2000.[3]

In the early 1990s, the Royal Commission of Learning, created during the leadership of then-Premier Bob Rae, published a report titled "For the Love of Learning" which recommended "that all [school] boards have at least one student member, entitled to vote on all board matters, subject to the usual conflict-of-interest and legal requirements" and that this student member would be elected by students.[4]

In 1997, the Progressive Conservative government under Premier Mike Harris introduced "The Education Quality Improvement Act" as Bill 160. The Bill enshrined the position of a "pupil representative" to provide the student perspective on school board governance. By 1998, every school board was mandated to have at least one "pupil representative".[5] In 2006, the position was formally named "student trustee" under the Liberal government of Premier Dalton McGuinty and the leadership of Education Minister Gerard Kennedy.[6]

The Executive Council of OSTA-AECO and the Board Council Cabinets are elected annually at the organization's Annual General Meeting (AGM). The board of directors is appointed at the AGM on a biennial basis.[2]


On 10 January 2018, OSTA-AECO unveiled The Student Platform at a Queen's Park press release.[7] Titled A Turning Point for Education, the Platform reflects three fundamental pillars of a student's educational experience: Student Wellbeing, 21st Century Learning and Equitable Access to Opportunities.[8] The pillars were developed in accordance to the results of OSTA-AECO's Student Survey, which received responses from 8,230 students representing 62 school boards in Ontario. The Student Platform features 16 policy recommendations for the political parties to implement in their education platforms for the 2018 provincial election. The release garnered widespread provincial and national media attention from outlets.[9]

On 6 May 2019, OSTA-AECO released the OSTA-AECO Vision Document: The Students' Vision for Education, in a press conference at Queen's Park[10][11][12] and Queen's Park Briefing.[13]

The Association has also contributed by sharing policy targeted at specific school board through a policy of sharing such as the Menstrual Equity project which has been undertaken by many Trustees from the GEDSB, the TDSB, the TVDSB, the PDSB, the WRDSB and the OCDSB.


  1. ^ "OSTA-AECO". OSTA-AECO. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Board Councils". OSTA-AECO. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Our story". OSTA-AECO. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  4. ^ Ontario, Government of. "For the Love of Learning". edu.gov.on.ca. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Bill 160, Education Quality Improvement Act, 1997". ontla.on.ca. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Students applaud McGuinty Government initiatives". OSTA-AECO. 29 June 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  7. ^ OSTA AECO (11 January 2018), The Student Platform – Press Release at Queen's Park, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 14 July 2018
  8. ^ "OSTA-AECO releases the Student Platform | OSTA-AECO". osta-aeco.org. Archived from the original on 14 July 2018. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Transcript: The Kids Aren't All Right | 16 Jan 2018 | TVO.org". tvo.org. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Vision". OSTA-AECO. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Ontario student group issues report protesting education cuts, mandatory e-learning | The Star". Toronto Star. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Students say there's a gap between their priorities and those of Ford government | The Star". Toronto Star. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  13. ^ Duggal, Sneh (6 May 2019). "Student trustees call on province to drop proposals on mandatory e-learning, increased class sizes". QP Briefing. Retrieved 31 July 2019.

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