Strengthening Local Voices in Education

In September 2021, government mandated that the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Education: “Consult with a variety of groups, including parents from across the province, teachers, administrators, program assistants, representatives from the African Nova Scotian, First Nations, and disability community to determine a governance model for P-12 education that allows for increased local voice in Education policy and decision-making.”

During the last school year, the staff at the Department have engaged with students, families, school staff, School Advisory Councils (SACs), community members, and the public how to increase local voice in their schools and in the education system.

Thank you to all who participated. Nova Scotia is committed to supporting local voice and improving opportunities for school community members to provide feedback and input that supports student achievement and well-being.


School Advisory Council (SAC) Innovation Fund

The SAC Innovation Fund provides grants up to $10,000 to SACs to support innovative ideas to support student achievement and well-being and address real problems experienced by students and schools.

This funding is intended to provide an opportunity to test an idea, which if shown to be successful, could be expanded to other schools.

Applications for 2024-25 now open! For more information please visit


Governance Model

Governance Model - click to view image
Governance Model

EECD has used this feedback to develop a governance model that will enhance local voice in education policy and decision-making.

Governance Breakdown - click to view image
Governance Breakdown


We are now moving forward to ensure families and others have an enhanced voice at regional leadership tables, that SACs have greater support and funding to ensure meaningful input into local and regional school decisions, and that families can better connect and get answers from schools and/or regional centres for education.

A report on the actions we will be taking can be found here: Increasing Local Voice in Education Policy & Decision-Making (summary report, December 2023)

Phase 2 of Engagement:

  • Beginning in December 2022 and continuing through winter 2023, EECD gave Nova Scotians the opportunity to provide feedback through an online survey and an online townhall using software called ThoughtExchange.
  • As well, 17 focus groups were held with over 70 participants including English and French staff, students, and Ministerial Advisory groups.

An infographic on what we heard throughout the engagements is now available here: What We Heard Enhancing local voice: public consultation

A detailed report on the engagements, compiled by ThinkWell, is now available here: Enhancing Local Voice: Public Consultations  (in English only)


Phase 1 of Engagement:

  • The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) engaged with School Advisory Councils (SACs) through an online survey, an online townhall using software called ThoughtExchange, and regional focus groups.
  • You can read our invitation to participate: English | French
  • You can read our thank you email to SACs: English | French
  • Learn more about SACs here.