What We Do


The Ontario Special Education Tribunals (English, for the English Public and Catholic school boards and French, for the French Public and Catholic school boards) hear appeals from parents, legal guardians or adult students who disagree with a school board’s decision about the identification or placement of students with exceptional learning needs under the Education Act and its regulations. The OSETs are independent from both school boards and the Ministry of Education.

Before an appeal is made to the OSETs the issues must have been considered by the school board’s Identification and Placement Review Committee (IPRC) and a Special Education Appeal Board (SEAB).

OSET holds mediations and hearings throughout the province.

At a hearing, a panel of three adjudicators, called members, will hear the evidence and make a decision. At a mediation, one member will facilitate. OSET members have knowledge and experience in special education, mediation and adjudication.

The OSETs are two of the seven expert adjudicative tribunals that form Social Justice Tribunals Ontario (SJTO). The OSETs do their work in keeping with the core values of SJTO:

  • Accessibility
  • Fairness and independence
  • Timeliness
  • Transparency
  • Professionalism and public service

The OSET’s Rules, which include the SJTO Common Rules and the OSET Practice Directions, apply to its proceedings.

Who can appeal to the OSET

  • A parent or guardian of a child with exceptional learning needs who does not agree with the school board’s decision on the child’s exceptionalities or placement of the child.
  • An adult student with exceptional learning needs who does not agree with the school board’s decision about identification or placement.

Before appealing to OSET, you must have followed the process set out under Regulation 181/9 of the Education Act for appealing the school board’s decision. See: “Before you appeal” in the Appeal and Hearing Process more information.