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At what age do children attend school?
In Ontario, children aged 6 to 18 must attend school.
Many children begin school in kindergarten the year they turn 4. The Education Act is the law that governs public schools in Ontario. It says that children aged 6 to 18 must attend school.
Elementary schools, sometimes called primary or junior schools, provide kindergarten programs for children aged 4 and 5. They also provide instruction from grades 1 to 8. Some school boards with larger student populations have "middle school" for grades 6 to 8. Secondary schools, often called "high schools," provide instruction from grades 9 to 12.
Will I get in trouble if I don't enrol my child in school?
According to Steps to Justice, if you do not send your child to school, the police can charge you. You can be fined up to $200. If your child is between the ages of 12 and 15 years old and doesn't go to school regularly, your child can be charged by the police. This charge is called "truancy". Truancy is not a crime. They can't go to jail or get a criminal record for it. But a judge can fine them up to $1,000 and put them on probation.
It is also important to note that minor children of refugee protection claimants and protected persons do not require a study permit to attend kindergarten, elementary or secondary school.
Many settlement agencies can help you with registering your child for school. If you need assistance enrolling your child, you can ask your settlement worker or the school's settlement worker for help. They can also help you find an interpreter if you need one.
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December 1, 2023