2001 – Ministry Advice to a School Attendance Counsellor

Historical Record - This was the PSAC's position over a year before PPM131. Thankfully, the position changed over the course of the meetings with the OFTP. This document is therefore for historical reference only.

A board decides to excuse a child based on parent response to the school board’'s policy and procedures on homeschooling. This decision is based on evidence provided by the parent that the instruction being provided is satisfactory. For example, the board may request curriculum plans, resources used for instruction, samples of child’'s work. In order for a board to make such a decision, there must be some parental response to the board'’s policies and procedures.

In cases where there is no response at all from the parent, and the board, therefore, decides that it cannot make a decision to excuse a child, further action must be taken at the board level. The board may deal with the matter under 30(1) of Education Act or under the habitual absence section of the Act (30(5)). The case should not be sent to the Provincial School Attendance Counsellor for a provincial inquiry.

Requests for provincial inquiry will be reviewed in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Confirmation that the school board has a policy and set of procedures on homeschooling.
  • Documentation that the procedures were applied in accordance with board policy.
  • Clear, factual documentation with respect to communication with parents noting the type of communication (e.g. phone, registered letter), the number of attempts to communicate, and results of this communication.
  • Warning to student and parent of the consequences of not complying with board policy; that is, failing to cause the child to attend and truancy enforcement provision in the Act.
  • Type and number of interventions attempted in order to ensure that it is a homeschooling matter and not a truancy matter.
  • Documentation regarding the nature of the information and material provided by the parent in response to board request.