Our History

In 1905, 20 school trustees from around British Columbia met at the Vancouver School Board office. These trustees, from eight boards – Grand Forks, Kamloops, Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Nelson, New Westminster, Vancouver and Victoria – discussed common problems and ways to improve public education.

Agreeing to continue working together on matters of shared concern, they formed British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA), the first school trustees association in Canada.

B.C. grew, and so did the number of school boards, now called boards of education.

By 1956, the B.C. government formally incorporated BCSTA by an Act of the Legislature. In 1998, BCSTA’s members approved the concept of boards’ key work – improving student achievement through community engagement. In 2017, BCSTA’s membership returned to full representation, once again including all 60 of BC’s boards of education and the school districts they serve.

The signing of the Co-Governance Relationship Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the province’s Ministry of Education and Child Care took place on December 5, 2014. The MoU was subsequently updated and signed on November 30, 2018 at the trustee academy. In the fall of 2023, the ministry and BCSTA agreed to extend the MoU until November 30, 2025, or until a revised MoU is signed. The document serves to define the working relationship between the Ministry of Education and Child Care and the BCSTA as the representative voice of its member boards of education. 

On April 22, 2022 BCSTA was proud to sign a memorandum of understanding with the ⁦First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) to commit to working together to meet the needs of First Nations students in our public schools.

2022 also saw the signing of an updated Protocol on Consultation and Cooperation involving the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and BCSTA.

For an in-depth account of BCSTA’s history, check out Dr. James B. London’s Public Education, Public Pride: The Centennial History of the BC School Trustees Association.