Manitoba Law

A Homeschool Parent’s Guide to Education Law in Manitoba

Provided by MACHS (Manitoba Association of Christian Home Schools)

 What does the Manitoba law require?

The Manitoba Public Schools Act (copied below) provides the legal framework to show that home education is clearly legal as an educational choice for parents in Manitoba. It has been legal in Manitoba for over 100 years.  Manitoba law is relatively simple regarding home education and requires the following:

  • School Attendance – The law requires school attendance for all children of  “compulsory school age” (between the ages of 7 and 18). If children are not in school, they are considered “truant” unless the parent has notified the minister of education of the establishment of a home school.

  • Notification – This notification (to be submitted by Sept 1st) is to include the following:

PRINT THE NOTIFICATION FORM

(a) the name and birthdate of each pupil in the school;

(b) the name of the school or school division each pupil would otherwise attend; and

(c) an outline of the education program and grade level for each pupil.

  • Reporting – The parent is to provide the minister with periodic progress reports on each pupil in the home school. The reports are to indicate whether satisfactory progress has been made and be provided according to a schedule determined by the minister. (At this point,  two (one-page) reports per year in January and June.)

PRINT THE REPORT FORM

  • Education Standard – The parent is to ensure that children are receiving a standard of education at home equivalent to that provided in a public school.  It is important to note that there is no clear and objective standard or measure of equivalency; this is evidently where the law is vague and arbitrary.

What does the Manitoba law not require?

  1. Permission or Registration – the law simply requires home educating parents or guardians to notify the minister and provide the required basic information. If this notification is provided in the form requested with the information required, then you are in legal compliance and you can simply start homeschooling. You do not need to be approved or wait for permission to homeschool.

  1. Home visits – there is no requirement for an inspection or home visit by a Manitoba Education official.  Only if they felt they had evidence of some deficiency would they be able to request a meeting or visit.  If this were the case, they would be expected to provide some explanation of the nature of the issue or deficiency.

  1. Testing –  there is no requirement for formal testing of home educated students, the method and timing of evaluation of students is up to parents.

  1. Approved Curriculum – there is no specifically “approved” curriculum and you do not need approval of your chosen curriculum.

  1. Parent educational certification – there is no requirement for parents to be certified teachers or have a particular educational level to be able to homeschool.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Anyone receiving requests for these things (such as home visits) should contact the Manitoba Association of Christian Home Schools immediately.   ([email protected])

What does the Manitoba law say?

Manitoba Public Schools Act – The Act has the following provisions:

Requirement to attend school

259.1(1)    A child of compulsory school age shall attend school.

 Interpretation: “compulsory school age”

1.1   For the purpose of this Act, an individual is a child of compulsory school age if he or she

a) is, at the beginning of the fall term in a year,

(i) seven years of age or older, or

(ii) six years of age, but will turn seven on or before December 31 of that year; and

(b) is younger than 18 years of age.

260(1) Every parent of a child of compulsory school age…, shall ensure that the child attends school, unless specifically excused in writing by the minister,…

260.1(1) The parent or guardian of a child who is a pupil in a home school shall, in the prescribed form, notify the minister of the establishment of the home school.

260.1(2) The parent or guardian shall, in the prescribed form, notify the minister about the home school when it is first established and on or before September 1 in each year.

260.1(3) Within 30 days after a home school is first established and on or before September 1 in each year, the parent or guardian shall provide the minister with the following information:

(a) the name and birthdate of each pupil in the school;

(b) the name of the school or school division each pupil would otherwise attend; and

(c) an outline of the education program and grade level for each pupil.

260.1(4) The parent or guardian shall provide the minister with periodic progress reports on each pupil in the home school. The reports must contain the information and be provided according to a schedule determined by the minister.

262 No person is liable to any of the penalties set out in this Act for failing or refusing to send his child to school as required under section 260 where

(b) the field representative certifies that in his opinion the child is currently receiving a standard of education at home or elsewhere equivalent to that provided in a public school;