Pupil Accommodation Reviews

Why do school boards consolidate and close schools?

Changing Demographics

School boards across Ontario have always opened new schools and closed older schools where the population of students has shifted. This is a reflection of the cycle of economic growth or decline and demographic change within communities.

If school boards are to deliver high quality education programs and services to their students, they must respond and adjust to such changes. The Ministry of Education funds education in Ontario and works in partnership with local school boards to manage this change.

Between 2003 and 2014, the number of students in Ontario schools declined by 152,000 due to a drop in the overall number of school-aged children. This is equivalent to 500 schools of 300 students each. In 2014, 57 of 72 school boards across the province experienced a decline in the number of students enrolled.

To compound this challenge, declining enrolment was rarely distributed evenly across all schools of a board. Even boards that are experiencing overall enrolment growth may include neighbourhoods or communities experiencing declining enrolment. In the 2014-15 school year, 358 elementary and 205 secondary schools were less than half full.

Since Ontario school boards are mainly funded on a per-student basis through grants from the Ministry of Education, boards, and therefore schools, lose funding as their enrolment declines. When funding decreases, all students in a board are affected because the cost of maintaining empty space is spread across all of the schools.

When a school has excess space because of low enrolment, the excess space still costs money to staff, maintain and operate. One of the key responsibilities of school boards is to ensure that funding is focused on the students who are in classrooms, and not on maintaining empty classrooms. The board must make decisions about the best accommodation and program options for students relative to the funds that are available.

* From MOE Guide to Pupil Accommodation Reviews

Benefits to Students

School boards generally consolidate and close schools to enable improved educational options and opportunities for students.

By bringing students together through a school consolidation, school boards are often able to offer a better educational experience. Some of the potential improvements may include:

  • The range of programming and courses available.
  • The availability of specialized support services for individual students or small groups.
  • Specialized facilities, such as gyms, libraries, design and technology, music and science rooms.
  • Sufficient enrolment to support sports teams and other extracurricular activities.
  • A school building in better condition than the one that is to close.
  • Accessibility features with respect to entry, movement within the facility and outdoor play space.

For more details, see the Pupil Accommodation Procedure on our Policies and Procedures webpage.

Elementary Public Accommodation Review 01


On November 22, 2016 the Board approved the following recommendations:

THAT the Board authorize Senior Administration to conduct a Pupil Accommodation Review, based on the information provided in the attached Elementary Pupil Accommodation Review-01 Initial Senior Administration's Report, for the following schools:

  • Davenport Public School
  • McGregor Public School
  • Mitchell Hepburn Public School
  • New Sarum Public School
  • Northdale Central Public School
  • Port Stanley Public School
  • River Heights Public School
  • South Dorchester Public School
  • Sparta Public School
  • Springfield Public School
  • Summers' Corners Public School
  • Westminster Central Public School
 Final Senior Administration Report (FASR) for EPAR-01 and EPAR-02
 Final Senior Administration Report

Watch the FSAR presented to the Board on April 11, 2017



Elementary Public Accommodation Review 02


On November 22,2016 the Board approved the following recommendations:

THAT the Board authorize Senior Administration to conduct a Pupil Accommodation Review,
based on the information provided in the attached Elementary Pupil Accommodation Review-02
Initial Senior Administration's Report, for the following schools:

  • Fairmont Public School
  • Tweedsmuir Public School 
 Final Senior Administration Report (FASR) for EPAR-01 and EPAR-02 
 Final Senior Administration Report
 Watch the FSAR presented to the Board on April 11, 2017. 


TVDSB Secondary Accommodation Study (2017)

The Draft Secondary Accommodation Study has been prepared by Planning Services and the Capital Planning Coordinating Committee to aid in the discussions regarding appropriate accommodation for secondary students with respect to physical environment and program space.

Declining enrolment is a concern for many boards in Ontario and presents a challenge for the TVDSB, but it also creates an opportunity for collaboration and innovation as we continue to adapt in our quest to meet the changing needs of students.

TVDSB Elementary Accommodation Study (2016)

The Draft Elementary Accommodation Study identifies areas within the Thames Valley District School Board for the elementary panel that call for closer observation and examination due to the following potential accommodation concerns:

  • Growth and Holding Zone permanent accommodation
  • Attendance areas adjustments in order to harmonizing enrolment and capacity
  • Improve efficiencies and long-term sustainability through school consolidations

For each identified study area a list of the potentially affected elementary schools is provided as well as the grade structure. Historical and projected enrolment as well as observations pertaining to pupil growth or decline in the area and potential next steps are also listed. This report was publicly presented on behalf of the Capital Planning Coordinating Committee on 2016 April 12 during the Planning and Priorities Advisory Committee meeting.

Contact Us