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For Immediate Release

April 26, 2012

Ministry of Education



More choice, flexibility for B.C.’s education system


VICTORIA – Amendments to the School Act introduced today will support BC’s Education Plan by removing barriers to personalized learning and allowing greater flexibility and choice in terms of where, when and how students learn.


Bill 36, the School Amendment Act 2012, gives students and families increased choice in educational programs by extending the ability to take a mix of online and traditional school courses to students in kindergarten through Grade 9. Currently, only students in grades 10 to 12 have this option.


Other changes to the School Act will eliminate the Standard School Calendar to enable boards of education and education authorities to offer more creative scheduling options that better meet the needs of their students. The Ministry of Education will continue to set a minimum number of instructional hours.


Other revisions to the act will clarify that boards may charge fees relating to the direct costs of providing an international baccalaureate program if they exceed the costs of providing a standard education program. Any such fees are subject to financial hardship provisions. The School Act grants boards of education a limited capacity to charge fees so they may provide programs that reflect the unique needs of their communities.


Under BC’s Education Plan, government is committed to building an education system that is more flexible, dynamic and adaptable to better prepare students for a successful future. Personalized learning is an approach to education that puts every student at the centre of their own learning and makes them more accountable for their success.


Bringing more flexibility to the system will help to recognize that each student is unique and our education system can support each student’s interests, passions and individual ways of learning.






Education Minister George Abbott –


“Enabling greater flexibility and choice is a key component of BC’s Education Plan, and these amendments to the School Act will provide school districts with additional tools to support personalized learning.”


Chair of the Surrey board of education Laurae McNally –


“These changes provide greater autonomy, flexibility and recognize school boards as partners in education.”


“Every school district has unique needs and challenges, and these amendments mean we’ll be able to provide greater flexibility and choice – and that means more options for students.”



Learn More:


View BC’s Education Plan and find out how you can get involved at:



Media Contact:


Ministry of Education

Government Communications and Public Engagement

250 356-5963



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