|Subject:||Practice Direction – Student as Witness|
|Date of Issue:||September 2009|
|Dates of Amendments:||February 2011|
Note: Practice Directions support the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure. In particular, they set out procedures to achieve uniformity in practice. In addition, they tell parties what the Tribunal expects of them and what the parties can expect of the Tribunal. In the event of an inconsistency with the Rules, the Rules govern.
The student is the focus of the appeal process. Allowing students to testify gives them a voice within the process and allows them to talk about issues that affect their learning at school.
This Practice Direction is intended to assist the parents and the school board in deciding whether or not to call the student as a witness at the hearing.
When deciding whether or not a student should appear as a witness, consider:
Students age sixteen (16) and over can testify on their own behalf. The Tribunals' Rules and Code of Conduct regarding witnesses, the parties to an appeal and representatives also apply to students who appear as witnesses on their own behalf.
Where a school board wants to summons a student, it is preferable that the parents and the school board work together to come to an agreement about the level and form of the student's involvement.
The Tribunal encourages both parties to make the decision of whether or not the student will appear as a witness soon after the pre-hearing conference and within the disclosure timelines set out in the Rules of Procedure.
When a student is called to testify as a witness, the following steps will occur: