The changing landscape of school choice in Canada: From pluralism to parental preference?


  • Lynn Bosetti La Trobe University
  • Deani Van Pelt Fraser Institute
  • Derek Allison Western University, Fraser Institute



school choice, Canada, student enrolment, funding, independent schools, home-based education, home schooling


This paper provides a descriptive account of the growing landscape of school choice in Canada through a comparative analysis of funding and student enrolment in the public, independent and home-based education sectors in each province. Given that the provinces have responsibility for K-12 education, the mixture of public, independent and home school education varies rather widely by province, as does the level of funding and regulation.  Delivery and funding of public education in Canada has long prioritized limited linguistic and religious pluralism, providing various options for English or French, and Catholic or Protestant alternatives to qualified parents. More recently growing numbers of parents have been seeking more options for their children’s education. This has fueled slow but steady growth in independent schools and home schooling.  


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Author Biographies

Lynn Bosetti, La Trobe University

Lynn Bosetti, Ph.D. is Professor and Head of the School of Education at La Trobe University, Melbourne.  Primary areas of scholarship are educational policy, school choice and leadership in higher education.  

Deani Van Pelt, Fraser Institute

Deani Van Pelt, Ph.D. is the Director of the Barbara Mitchell Centre for Improvement in Education, Fraser Institute. Her research focuses on education spending, student enrolments, graduate outcomes, and aspects of school choice.

Derek Allison, Western University, Fraser Institute

Derek J. Allison, Ph.D. is Emeritus Professor of Education, Western University and Senior Research Fellow at the Fraser Institute. Primary areas of scholarship are school choice, culture and leadership. 




How to Cite

Bosetti, L., Van Pelt, D., & Allison, D. (2017). The changing landscape of school choice in Canada: From pluralism to parental preference?. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 38.



School Diversification and Dilemmas across Canada