Appeal a school expulsion


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The Education Act gives the CFSRB the mandate to hear appeals from expulsions from a school or all schools of a school board.

Before you file

  • Are you the parent or guardian of a student who is under 18 years old who was recently expelled?
  • Are you a student who is over 18 years old who was recently expelled?
  • Are you a student who is 16 or 17 years old and has withdrawn from parental control and was recently expelled?

If you answered “yes” to one of the above questions, you may apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board to appeal the expulsion.

You do not need to be represented at a hearing. You can represent yourself or you can choose a lawyer or paralegal to help you prepare for and participate in your appeal. Pro Bono Law Ontario’s Education Law Project may be able to provide legal help. For more information, see the SJTO Practice Direction on Representation.

Filing an application with the CFSRB

To apply, download the Application to Appeal a School Board Expulsion Decision or call us and we will mail you a copy.

If you need help filling out the form, call the CFSRB and a case processing officer will help you. Note that a case processing officer cannot give you legal advice or tell you what words to use in your application.

When you receive the expulsion decision from the school board, you have 30 days to apply to the CFSRB. If you missed the 30 day deadline to apply, contact the CFSRB immediately, and explain why. You may still be allowed to apply.

For information about how to send your application, visit Forms & Filing.

After you file

After receiving your application, the CFSRB will take the following steps within 6 days:

  • send a copy of the application to the school board involved and ask for a copy of the principal’s report which recommended the expulsion.
  • hold a pre-hearing conference with you and the school board.

The pre-hearing conference

At the pre-hearing conference, the CFSRB member, will:

  • define the issues
  • identify the witnesses who will appear at the hearing
  • review the documents and other potential evidence the parties will need to share with each other and the CFSRB
  • set dates for the hearing

The pre-hearing conference will be held on the phone.

After the pre-hearing conference, the CFSRB will mail 2 documents to you and the school board:

  1. A summary of the pre-hearing
  2. A notice of hearing, which gives the time and location of your hearing

The hearing

The date of your hearing will be no later than 30 days after the CFSRB receives your application, unless either you or the school board requests a later date, in which case it may be held later.

A panel of 1-3 adjudicators will hold a hearing. All participants will have an opportunity to present oral and written evidence, ask witnesses questions, and make submissions.

The school board will present its evidence first.

The panel members may also have questions for the witnesses.

The student whose expulsion is being appealed has the right to attend the hearing and make a statement.

A hearing can last 1 day or more. All hearings take place in private. The CFSRB will try to hold the hearing at a location that is convenient for everyone.

The decision

The CFSRB may decide to:

  • confirm the expulsion decision
  • reject the expulsion decision and reinstate the student
  • change the expulsion decision from all schools to the student’s school only
  • order that the record of the expulsion be removed or changed

The CFSRB will issue a decision no later than 10 days after the hearing and will issue written reasons within 30 days.

Service standards

Service excellence is a priority for the Child and Family Services Review Board. Our service standards keep us focused on providing our clients with fair, effective, and timely dispute resolution. These are the service standards for school board expulsion appeals. We aim to meet these standards 80 % of the time.

  • Board expulsion hearings will be scheduled within 30 calendar days of receipt of the notice of appeal
  • Orders will be issued within 10 calendar days after the hearing has been completed
  • Decisions will be issued within 20 calendar days after the hearing has been completed

Rules of Procedure

The sections of the Rules of Procedure that apply to an application to appeal a school expulsion are Part I and Part V.