Homeschooling

Date came into force or revised

NA

Status

Current

Policy statement

Under the School Act, a parent may choose to provide their child with an education outside of a public or an independent school. 

Rationale or purpose of policy

To set out the roles and responsibilities for parents and registering schools with regard to homeschooled children

Authority

Policy in full

Homeschooling is an alternative method of teaching where the parent delivers an educational program to children at home. The School Act (PDF), (section 12) provides parents with the statutory right to educate their children at home.

Homeschooling allows children to work at their own pace and parents to blend family, life and schoolwork into their own schedule. Homeschooling is the full responsibility of the parent, is not supervised by a British Columbia certified teacher, is not required to meet provincial standards, and is not inspected by the Ministry of Education.

Distributed Learning (DL) should not be confused with Homeschooling, for more information on DL programs and the differences between the two, please review Distributed Learning versus Homeschooling information.

Information for Parents

Parents of registered homeschooled children are responsible for the complete education of their children. Parents have the responsibility to provide and supervise the educational program.

Parents who decide to homeschool their children should be aware that immunization is an important part of protecting their child's health. ImmunizeBC.ca has information  about children’s eligibility for vaccines.  Immunizations can be done at a family doctor's office or the local health unit.

Procedures related to policy

Registering Homeschooled Children

Parents must register homeschooled children at one of the following schools in the province by September 30th each year:

Parents choosing to homeschool their children, but failing to register them as homeschooled, commit an offence.

Children in Grades 10, 11, or 12 may enrol in a distributed learning course offered by a public or independent distributed learning school, as well as being registered as a homeschooler.

The registering school reports the homeschooler to the Ministry of Education on the Student Data Collection Form (1701).

Responsibilities of  Schools Registering Homeschoolers

Public Schools and Public Distributed Learning Schools

  • The principal must register the child of any parent who wishes his or her child to be educated at home.
  • The school principal must offer the following to the homeschooled child or the parents free of charge:
    • evaluation and assessment services to determine the child's educational progress in relation to students of similar age and ability and
    • the loan of educational resource materials that are authorized and recommended by the Minister, and which, in the board's opinion, are sufficient to enable the child to pursue his/her educational program.
  • The parent or homeschooled child, or both, is free to accept or reject evaluation or assessment services or the loan of learning resource materials that have been offered by the school.
  • The school has no authority to approve or supervise the educational program of a homeschooled child.

Francophone Schools

  • The principal must register the child of any parent who wishes his/her child to be educated at home. 
  • The school principal shall offer the following to the homeschooled child or the parents free of charge:
    • evaluation and assessment services to determine the child's educational progress in relation to students of similar age and ability and
    • the loan of educational resource materials that are authorized and recommended by the Minister, and which, in the board's opinion, are sufficient to enable the child to pursue his/her educational program.
  • The parent and/or homeschooled child is free to accept or reject evaluation or assessment services or the loan of learning resource materials that have been offered by the school.
  • The school has no authority to approve or supervise the educational program of a homeschooled child.

Independent Schools and Independent Distributed Learning Schools

  • The authority may determine if the school will register homeschooled children. 
  • The authority may also set a fee for the registration of a homeschooled child. 
  • An independent or independent distributed learning school may register a homeschooled child who resides anywhere in the province. 
  • The school principal shall offer the following to the homeschooled child or the parent(s) free of charge:
    • evaluation and assessment services normally offered to the students at that independent school.
    • may loan educational resource materials to the parents of homeschooled children, which the school believes are sufficient to enable the children to pursue their  educational programs. The school may require a deposit for the loan of such materials.

Funding Grants for Home Schooled Children 

Provincial funding grants are sent to the registering school.  No funding is sent to parents. The provincial funding grant amounts are as follows:

  • Public schools receive $250 for each registered homeschooled child.
  • An independent school authority holding a certificate of group 1 or group 2 classification receives $175 for each registered homeschooled child.

Protection of Homeschooled Children

Anyone who believes that a school-aged homeschooled child is not registered, or is registered but not receiving an educational program, may report this belief to one of the following:

  • The superintendent of schools of the school district in which the child resides. 
  • The directeur général of the francophone education authority for the francophone school district in which that child resides.

On receipt of a report, the superintendent or directeur général is required to investigate the complaint. In the event that the superintendent, or directeur général determines that the child is not registered, and the child's parent refuses to comply with the law, the superintendent, or directeur général must inform the police.

In the event that the superintendent or directeur général determines that the child is not receiving an educational program and that the child is in need of protection, the superintendent or directeur général must report their belief to the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

No action lies against the superintendent or directeur général in respect of an action taken or against the person making such a report, unless the report is made maliciously.

Contact Information

For more information about this policy, contact the Independent Schools Office

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