School Trustee Oath of Office
What follows are some frequently asked questions about the school trustee oath of office.
Where do I find the oath of office?
The oath of office can be found in the School Trustee Oath of Office Regulation (see page D- 81 of the Ministry of Education and Child Care’s Manual of School Law). Please note that the trustee oath of office differs from the oaths of office used by local governments.
When must a trustee elected in the 2022 general election take the oath of office?
If a trustee is elected by voting, the official election results are declared on October 19, and there are no pending applications for judicial recount, the trustee must take the oath of office between October 25 and December 2, 2022.
If a trustee is elected by acclamation, they must take the oath sometime between the date they are declared elected and December 4, 2022.
If a trustee fails to take the oath by the above-noted deadlines, then their seat will be deemed to be vacant, and the individual will be disqualified from holding office as a trustee until the next general school election.
See section 50 of the School Act for more information about the timing of the oath.
What if a trustee-elect cannot attend the inaugural board meeting?
It is not necessary to take the oath at the inaugural meeting. Accordingly, the trustee-elect could take the oath at another time. The trustee-elect cannot take office until the written certificate is delivered to the secretary-treasurer.
Does the oath of office need to be done at a meeting?
It is not mandatory for the oath of office to be made at a school board meeting. While it is acceptable for the trustee-elect to make their own arrangements for making the oath, it is generally expected that the school district will arrange to have a person qualified to administer the oath available.
Can we ask our board lawyer or a notary public to attend and administer the oath of office to the trustees?
No. Section 50 of the School Act states that the oath must be made before one of the following:
- The secretary-treasurer of a board
- A local government corporate officer
- A justice of the peace
- A judge of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court or Provincial Court.
Lawyers and notaries are not authorized to administer the oath of office under the School Act. This is different from the oaths for local government elected officials which may be administered by a commissioner for taking affidavits for British Columbia (lawyers and notaries public may be commissioners for taking affidavits in B.C.).
Disclaimer: This bulletin provides general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice.