Wynne, Hon Kathleen O. Minister of Education
Current Status: Royal Assent received Chapter Number: S.O. 2006 C.28
This Explanatory Note was written as a reader’s aid to Bill 52 and does not form part of the law. Bill 52 has been enacted as Chapter 28 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2006.
The Education Act is amended to raise the compulsory school attendance age from 16 to 18 and to enable the development of learning opportunities for pupils that fall outside the instruction traditionally provided by a board, termed “equivalent learning” in the Act.
Certain other amendments are made to the Education Act that relate generally to the changes described above, such as the following:
1. Regulations may be made prescribing circumstances in which a right or obligation that normally rests with the parent or guardian of a pupil who is under 18 will instead rest with a pupil if he or she is at least 16 years old.
2. The Minister may establish policies, guidelines and standards with respect to equivalent learning and require boards to develop and offer equivalent learning opportunities to their pupils. The Minister may designate groups, organizations and entities and programs, courses of study or other activities that are approved for the purposes of equivalent learning. The Minister and boards may both enter into agreements with other parties regarding the provision of equivalent learning to board pupils.
3. The fines for offences related to non-attendance at school set out in section 30 are raised from $200 to $1,000.
4. When a person of compulsory school age is charged with being habitually absent from school, the proceeding is conducted in accordance with Part VI (Young Persons) of the Provincial Offences Act and, for that purpose, Part VI of that Act shall be read as if it applies to persons under 18 years old (it normally applies to persons under 16 years old).
5. A court is empowered to order the suspension of a driver’s licence of a person who is convicted of being habitually absent from school. The person’s licence would be reinstated no later than the date on which the person is no longer required to attend school under section 21 of the Act.
6. The right to become qualified as a resident pupil is extended in section 36 to persons who are 16 or 17 years old and have withdrawn from parental control and to persons who are at least 18 years old.