Education System in Canada



The regulation and implementation of Canada’s educational system is the responsibility of its individual provinces that are governed by its own ministry of education. Foreign assignees relocating to Canada should ensure that they have at least the basic knowledge of what to expect for their kids ' education abroad. 

The standard of education in Canada is at par with other leading nations such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Though several schools follow the International Baccalaureate Program (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum, the requirements, the primary language and methods of teaching still significantly vary from province to province so foreign assignees that are relocating with their children must check beforehand the list of schools in their chosen area of residence. There are also several international school options for expat children.

Education System

Education is mandatory starting at the age of five until the age of 16 or up to 18 on some provinces. The state funds the education of its citizens starting from primary until the secondary level. However, there are still some fees that the parents or students must shoulder which is around $5 to $100 which will cover extra-curricular activities in music and art. There are several levels in Canada’s educational system: 

  • Kindergarten (optional)
  • Primary School (Grades 1 to 6)
  • Secondary School (Grades 7 to 12)
  • Tertiary/University 

The academic year in Canada starts in September and lasts until June where students go on break during Christmas and Easter. The daily schedule varies with each province but in general, a typical school day begins at 8 or 8:30 am and ends at 2:30 or 3 pm. Also, each residence or district has its School Boards whose role is to manage the schools within a particular area. It is responsible for students’ enrollment, facilities, personnel and administration. School Boards or also known as trustees are made up of members that were elected by the public.


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Moving to Canada