03/16/2015 03:16 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT

Panel to examine troubled Toronto school board

TORONTO - Ontario's education minister has appointed an advisory panel to look at ways to reform Toronto's troubled school board, including possibly dividing it into several boards.

A government-ordered review found earlier this year that a culture of fear at the Toronto District School Board is getting worse because elected trustees interfere in everything from hiring principals to procurements.

Education Minister Liz Sandals says this advisory panel supports one of the review's recommendations, to look at possible structural and procedural changes at the board.

The seven-member panel, headed by former Ontario human rights commissioner Barbara Hall, will conduct public consultations and report its recommendations to Sandals by this summer.

Sandals says the panel will look at whether the board has become too large to be managed effectively, and a solution may involve breaking up the TDSB into more than one board.

She says it is still open to her to appoint a supervisor, but the role of a supervisor is to replace the board, not to change its structures, so Sandals says the panel will examine broader issues around the culture and set-up of the board.