1980 .
1981 .
1982 February: Premier William R. Bennett (leader of the provincial Social Credit Party) announces a new programme to curtail government spending.  The programme, known as Restraint, provokes opposition and great hostility among organized labour groups, including provincial employee unions and the British Columbia Teachers' Federation.

August: William ("Bill") van der Zalm is appointed Minister of Education and is responsible for implementing Restraint measures in the education sector.


1983 School Wars!, a term coined by journalists to describe unprecedented hostility between the provincial government and public school workers.  Teachers and school support staff take part in a 3 day strike to protest reductions in education funding.  The protest is part of a wide organized labour opposition movement known as Solidarity.

May 26: Jack Heindrich is appointed Minister of Education.


1984 Province-wide Grade 12 examinations are re-introduced. The exams had been scrapped in 1973.


1985 ..


1986 February 11:  James ("Jim") Hewitt is appointed Minister of Education.  He is succeeded on August 11 by Anthony ("Tony") Brummet.  (Hewitt is takes on the Education portfolio again in 1990.)

 Pacific Vocational Institute and British Columbia Institute of Technology are merged.  The new institution becomes the flagship of trades and technological training in British Columbia. The "new" BCIT also becomes a focal point for the transfer of applied technology when its Technology Centre is created.


1987 A Royal Commission on Education is appointed under the direction of Barry Sullivan, Q.C.  The enquiry comes to be known as the Sullivan Royal Commission.


The British Columbia College of Teachers is created under the Teaching Profession Act to establish and promote Standards for the education, competence and professional conduct of its members. The College is a statutory body whose major function is to regulate the education profession in the public interest.

1988 The Sullivan Royal Commission Report is published.  The provincial government accepts nearly all of its 83 recommendations, including a blueprint for an innovative curriculum program known as Year 2000.

The British Columbia Principals' and Vice Principals' Association [BCPVPA] is formed. 


1989 Parent Advisory Councils are recognized at every school, following recommendations from the Sullivan Royal Commission and changes to the Public School Act.  PACs take up some of the school-advocacy campaigns formerly conducted by PTAs.

In 1990, local PACs form the British Columbia Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.