SOURCE: The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

June 27, 2017 05:00 ET

Fraser Institute News Release: More Ontario students attending independent schools as public school enrolment declines

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - June 27, 2017) - The share of Ontario students attending independent schools increased 24.5 per cent over a 15-year period, despite not receiving any financial support from the provincial government, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

"For their children's education, parents in Ontario are increasingly choosing options outside the public school system," said Angela MacLeod, a policy analyst with the Fraser Institute's Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education and co-author of Where Our Students are Educated: Measuring Student Enrolment in Canada, 2017.

The study finds that as a share of all K-12 students, enrolment in independent schools increased in all provinces and decreased for public schools everywhere from 2000/01 to 2014/15, the most recent year of available comparable data.

In Ontario, the number of independent school students rose by 17.9 per cent to 129,607 students in 2014/15. As a share of all students in the province, independent school enrolment increased 24.5 per cent.

Over the same period, public school enrolment declined by more than 140,000 students, or 6.5 per cent. As a share of total enrolment, public school enrolment declined to 93.6 per cent.

Crucially, unlike Quebec and western Canada, Ontario offers no financial support to independent schools.

"This absence of financial support makes the increase in the share of Ontario families choosing independent schools all the more telling," MacLeod said.

"While education is funded and delivered differently across the provinces, the evidence is clear -- parents in Ontario are increasingly looking to independent schools for more choice in how their children are educated."

Angela MacLeod, Policy Analyst, Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education
Fraser Institute

Deani Van Pelt, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

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Bryn Weese
Media Relations Specialist, Fraser Institute
Office: (604) 688-0221 ext. 589
Cell: (604) 250-8076

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

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