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Attendance rights

Introduction

In Ontario, the Education Act, along with other regulations and policies, set out the education rights of students, parents and guardians. These include the right to a public education.

Attending School

  • All young people have the right to an education.
  • You have a right to attend school in the school board district where your parents live, but you don't have the right to choose a specific school.
  • If you are living on your own, you have a right to attend school in the school board district where you live.
  • It is illegal for a school to refuse to admit any child under 18 years of age because the child or the child's parent or guardian is in Canada without immigration status.

Starting School

  • You have the right to start school when you are 4 (or will be turning 4 between Sept 1st and Dec 31st of that school year) if your school board offers junior kindergarten.
  • You have the right to start school when you are 5 (or will be turning 5 between Sept 1st and Dec 31st of that school year) if your school board offers kindergarten.
  • You must attend school at age 6.
  • If you are 16 or older you have the right to work during school hours.

Quitting School

  • If your 17th birthday is between the first day of school and December 31st, you have the right to quit school at the end of that school year.
  • If your 18th birthday is between January 1st and end of August, have the right to quit school on 18th birthday.
  • You have the right to leave school if you have already graduated with a secondary school diploma.

Learn more

  1. Decide if your legal problem relates to your right to attend school or to quit school.
  2. Read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to learn more about your right to attend school or quit school.
  3. Follow the Steps for instructions on how to enforce your attendance rights.
  4. Review the Resources to find new and in-depth legal information about education issues.
  5. See the Links for news and other helpful websites.

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DisclaimerLast updated 07/30/2009