Current Law on Home Education in Ontario

The Ontario Education Act

The sections of Ontario's Education Act most relevant to homeschoolers are sections 21(2)(a) and 24(2). The applicability of section 30 is still a point of disagreement between the homeschooling community and the government. [emphasis added in these excerpts:]

21 - (2) A person is excused from attendance at school if,

(a) the person is receiving satisfactory instruction at home or elsewhere;

24. - (2)Where the parent or guardian of a child considers that the child is excused from attendance at school under subsection 21(2), and the appropriate school attendance counsellor or the Provincial School Attendance Counsellor is of the opinion that the child should not be excused from attendance, the Provincial School Attendance Counsellor shall direct that an inquiry be made as to the validity of the reason or excuse for non-attendance and the other relevant circumstances, and for such purpose shall appoint one or more persons who are not employees of the board that operates the school that the child has the right to attend to conduct a hearing and to report to the Provincial School Attendance Counsellor the result of the inquiry and may, by order in writing signed by him or her, direct that the child,

(a) be excused from attendance at school; or

(b) attend school,

and a copy of the order shall be delivered to the board and to the parent or guardian of the child.

30. (1) A parent or guardian of a person required to attend school under section 21 who neglects or refuses to cause that person to attend school is, unless the person is 16 years old or older, guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $200.

Note 1: Prior to 2006, the wording of section 30.1 was "A parent or guardian of a child of compulsory school age who neglects or refuses to cause the child to attend school is, unless the child is legally excused from attendance, guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $200."

Note 2: At a date to be named, the wording of section 30.1 will be changed again to "A parent or guardian of a person required to attend school under section 21 who neglects or refuses to cause that person to attend school is, unless the person is at least 16 years old and has withdrawn from parental control, guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $1,000."