In Canada, anyone who wants to teach or work in a school or who provides a service for the school must undergo a background check. This is generally true whether you are currently employed at a school or are a new hire. How might this impact your ability to work as a teacher if you have a previous criminal conviction?
Can I Teach With a Criminal Record?
Yes, you can teach with a criminal record in Canada. The school board that oversees your school will request that you attend an interview in which all the facts in the matter will be reviewed. Typically, a teacher will be allowed to keep his or her job as long as a previous criminal record does not present a risk to the safety of the students or anyone else who works at the school.
You Do Have Rights During the Examination Process
If you are asked to attend a hearing or otherwise present information regarding a previous criminal conviction, you have rights that must be respected. For instance, you must be given enough time to prepare for the hearing, and you are allowed to have a representative present. The meeting itself is kept confidential, and you are entitled to as much time as you need to present any information that you think is relevant in an effort to keep your job. Finally, you are entitled to advance notice as to how the school board plans to proceed after hearing all of the facts in your case.
Can I Teach With a Criminal Record if I Have Been Pardoned?
If you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you may not need to disclose that conviction if it has been pardoned. Essentially, the government has said that you have shown good conduct since the time of the conviction and will keep any record of that conviction separate from your other records. However, if you are pardoned after applying for a transfer to a new position, you may need to disclose that conviction as part of your criminal background check.
If you have been convicted of a crime, “can I teach with a criminal record” may be one of the first questions that you ask yourself. Fortunately, a conviction in itself does not disqualify you from employment. However, it is important that you disclose any offenses that you have been convicted of in a timely manner to avoid any further discipline from your school board.