Ontario’s private elementary and secondary schools operate under section 16 of the province’s Education Act. Whether businesses or non-profit organizations, all are required to register with the Ministry of Education and submit statistical reports yearly. Those schools seeking to grant credits toward an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) must also have their curriculum approved by the Ministry and pass an inspection to ensure their level of instruction meets provincial standards. Elementary schools and those offering non-OSSD credits are neither subject to inspection nor approval of their curriculum.

General Requirements

Step 1

Meet the criteria for private schools as set out by section 16. Establish its hours of operation, standards of instruction as well as methods for control over course content and evaluating student achievement.

Step 2

Fulfill the requirements for a principal, an office for keeping student records as well as policies for attendance, staff evaluation and procedures for communicating with parents.

Step 3

Submit a “Notice of Intention to Operate a Private School (NOI) 2010-2011” along with a non-refundable check to the Minister of Finance for $300 Canadian dollars to the Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Education Field Services Branch Private Schools and Attendance Unit 900 Bay Street 12th Floor Mowat Block Toronto Ontario M7A 1L2 Telephone: 416-325-1981 Fax: 416-325-2517

Additional Requirements for Schools Granting Credits Towards an OSSD

Step 1

Wait to receive the “Inspection Requirements for Private Schools Granting Secondary School Credits” document mailed by the Ministry of Education after receiving the NOI.

Step 2

Compile outlines of the courses offered and a course calendar that complies with policies listed in the “Ontario Secondary Schools, Grades 9-12: Program and Diploma Requirements,1999 (OSS)” document. Ensure the offered courses follow the Ministry of Education's curriculum guidelines (available from Services Ontario).

Step 3

Submit the course calendar and course outlines to the Ministry of Education for review prior to June 1st for credit courses beginning in July, July 1st for those beginning in September, or December 1st for courses starting in February.

Step 4

Correct the course calendar and outlines if returned for non-compliance so they conform to the OSS, and resubmit to the Ministry of Education for a second review. Understand that if the course calendar and outlines fail the second review the application process will be discontinued.

Step 5

Prepare to receive an unannounced inspection from a Ministry of Education supervisory officer (the school will be charged $1375 Canadian dollars for the inspection). Once the information submitted on the NOI is confirmed and the level of instruction approved, the school will be issued a Ministry of Education identification number (BSID) permitting it to grant OSSD credits.