Admission Criteria


The Right to French-Language Education


The French-language education system in Ontario is a complete network of publicly funded Catholic and public French-language schools (elementary and secondary levels), French-language colleges and bilingual universities offering a wide variety of services and programs from early childhood to postsecondary education, including training programs and adult learning.  Members of the network work to make its educational institutions more accessible to the communities they serve and facilitate admission procedures.

School Age

In Ontario, children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 must be enroled in a formal educational program. 

Ontario Education Act (Section 21)

Admission Criteria

The rights to a French-language 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:

1. Under the section 23 of 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.

2. Moreover, under the Education Act, the Ontario Legislature recognizes the importance of extending the right to be admitted to a French-language school to children of parents who do not meet the basic criteria set out in section 23 of the charter. Under section 293, a mechanism was established – namely, the admission committee – by which it is possible to admit these children.

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 French-language education, they will have to submit an application to the admissions committee of the appropriate school board.

Admission Policy

Constantly striving to be welcoming and inclusive, all French-language education school boards have reviewed their admission policy in 2009 as follows:

  • to ensure that boards include in their policies effective methods for recruiting eligible students;
  • to make the admission process at French-language schools as streamlined as possible for newcomers who are French-speaking;
  • to make provisions for possible admission of newcomers who speak neither French nor English to French-language schools;
  • to standardize the rules governing the operation of admission committees to ensure fairness across the province;
  • to increase accountability and transparency in the French-language education system to improve public confidence.

Document : Policy Statement and Guidelines on the Admission, Welcoming, and Support of Students in French-Language Schools in Ontario

Postsecondary Education and Training

Access to a postsecondary institution or an adult training institution is open to everyone who wants to further his or her education in French.

Ontario’s French-language education network includes the following postsecondary institutions:

  • two French-language colleges of applied arts and technology with several campuses;
  • two bilingual universities and their three affiliated or federated institutions; 
  • three other postsecondary institutions offering French-language education;
  • and a wide range of French-language training programs.

These establishments classify among the best in Canada. They offer competitive advantages to students (Canadian or international) wishing to study in French in an environment which encourages and fosters fluency in both French and English.

Avantage Ontario (French-language website for newcomers and list of postsecondary programs offered in French)

Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (French-language studies)


Find an Institution

See also Contact Lists