information for global expats

Private Schools for Expats in Canada

Submitted: November 2013

Though public education is available to all, for those who can afford, private schooling as a worthwhile option for your child’s education. These educational institutions are not funded by the government and are independently funded by student tuition and private donors.

While private institutions will follow the necessary and basic requirements to primary and secondary education. Being privately funded affords these schools the opportunity to establish their own curriculum.  Private schools boast of different teaching styles, wider scope of activities, and focus on specific values such as religion, language, or culture.

The curriculum of public schools is under the jurisdiction of each province. However, being privately funded, private schools also have the liberty of determining their own curriculum as well as enforcing their own entrance requirements and setting their own entrance exams. Also some institutions may be all girls, all boys, or co-educational like public schools.

Some schools’ curricula may focus on athletics, arts, or various other activities. These private institutions also afford your child the benefit of a low student teacher ratio. Depending on the institution boarding may be an option.

Two contributing factors to the cost of private tuition in Canada are location and what type of school it is. Tuition may range from $10,500 to $23,000 (Canadian) per year. Religious schools tend to have lower tuition fees, in comparison to other private institutions, especially those offering boarding.

The majority of private schools are situated in city areas close to the US – Canadian border, where there tends to be a high expatriate community; Such as Ontario and Vancouver. However location should not be your sole determining factor in your selection process. When making your choice you should have your child’s needs as well as your needs as a parent in mind. Some factors to consider are:

  • Student Teacher Ratio – Lower student teacher ratio tends to be an advantage to the child’s learning process as the schools can cater for the child’s individual needs.
  • Cost – Private day schools range from CA $8,000.00 to $25,000.00, however boarding schools can cost as much as $45,000.00. Additionally some schools may have a one off student fee or maintenance fees.
  • Same sex or co-educational schools – This depends on your preference. There is debate as to which educational experience is better, but the benefits are dependent on your child’s needs.

Each private school is subject to its own admissions criteria. The process will entail completion of forms with basic information such as, name, date of birth, and as well your child’s academic history. Also ensure that you have the following documents to accompany your child’s application; birth certificate, proof of residence, proof of immunization and previous school records (where applicable)

The following link provides a list of schools, searchable by various criteria, such as location, religious affiliations, and cost. www.topprivateschools.ca/research.asp



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