In Ontario, school boards are under the obligation to receive students between the ages of 6 and 21. In addition, students must attend school up to the age of 18.
Welcoming and inclusive institutions
The rights to a French education in Ontario are defined by both the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Education Act.
Admission to French-language schools can be granted in one of two ways:
- Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a child is eligible, without any other condition, if the parent is a Canadian citizen and meets one or all of the following criteria:
- The first language learned and still understood is French;
- He or she was educated, at the elementary level, in French in Canada;
- He or she is the parent or tutor of a child who has received or who is receiving his or her education at the elementary or secondary level in French in Canada.
- Moreover, under the Ontario Education Act, any parent can submit an application for admission to the French-language school of his or her choice. The request will be processed by the admissions committee within the designated school board. Once the child’s admission to a French-language school is granted, the parent becomes a “rights-holder,” and all of his or her children become entitled to a French-language education, anywhere in Canada. They will in turn be able to register their own children at a French-language school.
A rights-holder who chooses not to register his or her child in a French-language school runs the risk of depriving his or her descendants of this right. In order for his or her grandchildren to regain their rights to FLE, they potentially will have to submit an application to the admissions committee of the appropriate school board.
Constantly striving to be welcoming and inclusive, all FLE school boards have reviewed their admission policy in 2009, which serves as a guide to the admissions committees. The policy aims to:
- Effectively select eligible students;
- Standardize the admission of French-speaking newcomers;
- Take the necessary measures in order to admit newcomers who speak neither French nor English (allophones);
- Grant admission to children whose grandparents were rights-holders to French language education.
Document: Policy Statement and Guidelines on the Admission, Welcoming, and Support of Students in French-Language Schools in Ontario
Post-secondary education and training
Access to a post-secondary institution or a training agency is open to everyone who wants to further his or her education in French.