An Effective Approach

Roles and Responsibilities of the District Education Authorities and the Department of Education

District Education Authorities (DEAs) play an essential role in our education system. They are elected volunteer boards who provide valuable services for the delivery of education at the local level and provide guidance to schools on how they should reflect the community’s culture and principles. 

Under the 2008 Education Act, DEAs have many responsibilities that require significant time and resources. This has been recognized by DEAs, the Coalition of Nunavut DEAs, the Office of the Auditor General and the Special Committee to Review the Education Act. We are proposing the following amendments to help address some of the administrative pressures on DEAs.

Our proposals:

The Department of Education:

  • Administers inclusive education appeals.
  • Administers principal and vice-principal appointment-reappointment panels.
  • Establishes three school calendars in consultation with the District Education Authorities Council (DEAC), with different start and end dates, for local DEAs to choose from.
  • Provides Early Childhood Education (ECE) programming when DEAs choose not to do so.


  • Request specialized services and assessments, including Inclusive Education appeals on behalf of parents and adult students.
  • Determine other aspects of the school calendar, based on local priorities, with the exception of professional development days.
  • DEA to give principals direction on matters related to the School Program and the Local Program and not the Education Program. 
  • DEAs have first choice in providing ECE programming. DEAs that choose to provide ECE programming will deliver programming themselves and not use third-party ECE providers.


  • Implement Inclusive Education and inform DEAs on the implementation.
  • Provide DEAs with progress reports on the delivery of the Education Program to assist DEAs in their advocacy of local priorities.

Main benefits:

  • Reduce the administrative burden on DEAs.
  • Enable DEAs to focus on local, community driven programming.
  • Increase DEAs ability to advocate for their community. 

This document does not address the roles and responsibilities that are particular to the Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut (CSFN).