Schools in Canada
 



 

The standard of education in Canada is high, and expats will find an impressive assortment of schooling options.

There is no nationalised system of public education in Canada, with each province and territory responsible for managing its own curriculum, language, methods of evaluation and accountability policies. The compulsory education age range is also controlled by the individual jurisdictions and may vary, though most demand attendance between the ages of six and sixteen. There are also private and international schools in Canada, although the vast majority of expats find the Canadian public education system quite adequate.

Public schools in Canada are subject to the steady hand of each respective province or territory. The curriculum of each territory is a reflection of its population, corresponding with the geography, language, history and culture of the surrounding area. For example, as the province of Quebec claims a predominately French-speaking population, the primary language of education is French. New Brunswick follows a bilingual language policy, while the other provinces are English.

Some public schools are faith-based, predominantly Catholic, and admission to these schools may require the child to be baptised in the Catholic faith or for at least one parent to be Catholic. While some public schools may also offer International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) curricula, this is certainly not the norm.

Students attend Canadian public schools based on catchment zones, so parents may want to choose their residential neighbourhood based on the school that corresponds with the area.

Though the majority of Canadian citizens utilise the free public education system, expats who can afford it may also want to consider private schools for their children, including international schools, military schools and special-needs schools.

These institutions are primarily funded by tuition and private donors and, as in many countries, it's assumed they have better facilities, and offer a more diverse range of extra-curricular activities and have smaller class sizes.

Private schools are not bound by the provincial education boards and can establish their own curriculum, some claiming different language affiliations, teaching styles and religious value systems. This point, in particular, may be important to those expats who'd prefer their children continue learning in their native language, home curriculum, or according to a distinct educational philosophy.

Waiting lists for private schools can be long, and admission criteria may be strict, so it’s best to apply as early as possible.

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