Legal Services for Homeschoolers:
The Law: The Quebec Education Act
Section 14 – Every child resident in Québec shall attend school from the first day of the school calendar in the school year following that in which he attains 6 years of age until the last day of the school calendar in the school year in which he attains 16 years of age or at the end of which he obtains a diploma awarded by the Minister, whichever occurs first.
Note: Kindergarten is not compulsory. If a child turns 6 between July 1 and September 30, they may start grade 1 that year or wait until the following year.
Section 15.4 – Exemptions: a student who receives home schooling and benefits from an educational experience which, according to an evaluation made by or for the school board, are equivalent to what is provided at school.
Note: Homeschooling is legal in Quebec, as it is across Canada and the US. Parents are supposed to register their children with their school board, and then negotiate the details of their child’s evaluation(s) – when, where, how – portfolio, tests, third-party evaluations, etc. However, some homeschoolers have found their school board to be pushy, inconsistent, ignorant about homeschooling, and quick to threaten with Youth Protection. Some families simply avoid registering with their school board, and homeschool “under the radar”. It seems there are no consequences to “getting caught”, other than perhaps having to register.
Other Government Documents:
Homeschooling and Language Laws:
You have the right to homeschool in the language of your choice. If the child ever returns to public school, the language laws will again apply. For details, see the Ministry’s policy, page 7.
School Board Policies on Homeschooling:
A policy is not the law, so there is room for negotiations in these matters.
- English Montreal School Board
- Lester B Pearson School Board
- Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Board
- Commission Scolaire de Montreal
- If you are not registered with your school board, keep some records of your children’s activities and work, in case someone asks.
- When dealing with your school board, insist that all correspondence is done in writing.
- If you sign a contract, you can be held to whatever is on it. Modify their standard contract or write your own, but don’t sign unless it’s something you can live with.
- You can request portfolio evaluations, or third-party evaluations.
- There are two separate systems for Youth Protection in Montreal – the English & Jewish is Batshaw, and the French is the Direction de la Protection de la Jeunesse (DPJ).
- A social worker is not mandated to evaluate the educational experience of your child. They are there to look for signs of neglect and abuse.
- In a recent case from our community (spring 2012), the social workers were reasonable and open-minded about homeschooling, and they did not force the family to register with their board. We heard a similar case on CBC news in Feb 2012.
Articles about homeschooling in Quebec:
- Homeschooling in Canada: The Current Picture (2015)
- La Non-Scholarisation: Le petit guide de unschooling au Quebec (Partie 1) et (Partie 2) (2013)
- Faire la classe à la maison: “Il faut réinventer l’école” (2011)
- Homeschooling in Quebec (2010)
- Freedom of choice in homeschooling (2010)
- Homeschooling in the shadow of Quebec policy (2010)
- Réflection sur l’aspect légal et l’éducation maison (2007)
- Homeschooling: From the Extreme to the Mainstream (2007)