Home Education Legalities in BC

In British Columbia, home based learning is governed by the School Act, Division 4, sections 12, 13, and 14 (quoted below), as well as section 3. The Ministry also has the following webpages for the benefit of parents and students considering home-based options:


The information below was accurate as of 2019-04-20:

Copyright (c) Queen’s Printer,
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
“These materials contain information that has been derived from information originally made available by the Province of British Columbia at: http://www.bclaws.ca/ and this information is being used in accordance with the Queen’s Printer License – British Columbia available at: http://www.bclaws.ca/standards/2014/QP-License_1.0.html. They have not, however, been produced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, the Province of British Columbia and THESE MATERIALS ARE NOT AN OFFICIAL VERSION.”

School Act

Division 4 — Home Education

Home education

12   A parent of a child who is required to enrol in an educational program under section 3

(a) may educate the child at home or elsewhere in accordance with this Division, and

(b) must provide that child with an educational program.

Registration

13   (1) A parent of a child who is required under section 12 to provide the child with an educational program must register the child on or before September 30 in each year with

(a) a school of the parent’s choice that is operating in British Columbia,

(a.1) if the child is an eligible child, a school referred to in paragraph (a) or (c), or a francophone school of the parent’s choice that is operating in the francophone school district in which the parent resides,

(a.2) if the child is an immigrant child, a school referred to in paragraph (a) or (c), or a francophone school of the parent’s choice that is operating in the francophone school district in which the parent resides but only if the francophone education authority responsible for that school permits the parent to register that child, or

(b) [Repealed 2006-21-8.]

(c) an independent school operating in British Columbia.

(2) If, in accordance with subsection (1), a parent is entitled to register his or her child with a school or, in the case of an eligible child or immigrant child, with a francophone school,

(a) the board that has jurisdiction over the school must ensure that the principal, vice principal or director of instruction responsible for that school registers the child, or

(b) the francophone education authority that has jurisdiction over the francophone school must ensure that the francophone principal, francophone vice principal or francophone director of instruction of that francophone school registers the child.

(3) A school or francophone school that registers a child under this section must provide the child with access to educational services in accordance with the regulations.

(4) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.

Power to report

14   (1) A person who believes that a child who is required to be registered under section 13 is not so registered may report that belief to the superintendent of schools for the school district in which that child resides.

(1.1) A person who believes that a child who is being educated in accordance with section 12 is not receiving an educational program may report that belief

(a) in the case of a child registered under section 13 with a francophone school, to the directeur général of the francophone education authority for the francophone school district in which that child resides, and

(b) in the case of a child registered under section 13 with a school, an independent school or the minister, to the superintendent of schools for the school district in which that child resides.

(2) On receipt of a report under this section, the superintendent or directeur général must take such action as is required by the orders of the minister.

(3) No action lies against

(a) a person making a report under subsection (1) or (1.1), or

(b) the superintendent or directeur général in respect of an action taken under subsection (2)

unless the report is made or the action is taken maliciously.