Independent Education in BC

Independent schools offer families choice and accountability, and provide wider and richer opportunities for students.   12.4% of all BC children attend independent schools. Independent schools (sometimes mistakenly called ‘private schools’ which in BC are for-profit schools) receive Ministry funding and are accountable to the Ministry for the delivery of the BC Curriculum. Independent schools are inspected regularly to ensure they meet all Ministry standards.

FISA – FISA BC represents 307 schools enrolling approximately 94% of the students attending independent schools in British Columbia. These five member associations select directors to serve on the FISA BC Board of Directors, which formulates the policies with which the organization advances its mission.

The B.C. Ministry of Education, unlike in other Canadian provinces, provides operational funding to independent schools for Canadian students.  Group 1 – schools receive 50% funding; Group 2 schools receive 35% funding (of the operational per student cost of the local public schools).  This makes independent schooling much more affordable than elsewhere in Canada. However, ISABC schools carry 100% of capital expenses.

Independent schools may also receive Special Educational Grant funding from the Ministry for eligible students.

Only 5.4% of the Ministry’s budget is allocated to independent schools for operating costs although over 12% of students attend an independent school

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