Does the BC gov’t care how home-schooled children in religious cults are educated?


Ministry of Education Office of the Inspector of Independent Schools Mailing Address: PO BOX 9153 STN PROV GOVT VICTORIA BC V8W 9H1 Telephone: (250) 356-2508 Facsimile: (250) 953-4908 Location: 620 Superior St Victoria BC CANADA

December 10, 2012

Our Ref: 163527

Jancis Andrews

Dear Jancis Andrews:

Thank you for your email addressed to Premier Christie Clark and the Honourable Don McRae, Minister of Education, dated November 8, 2012, regarding students formerly enrolled in Bountiful Elementary-Secondary School (BESS). Your email has been forwarded to me for a reply.

The majority of the students formerly attending BESS have enrolled in distributed learning programs offered by public boards of education, while others have enrolled in regular public school programs. Fewer than half the children have been registered for traditional home schooling.

For information on distributed learning in comparison to home schooling you may wish to view the following:

Under section 12 of the

School Act, any parent may choose to educate a child at home. Where a parent chooses to educate a child at home they are required to register their child with a public board of education or an independent school authority. It is the responsibility of the parents to provide and supervise the educational program of a home schooled student. If a person believes that a parent has not registered their child as required or is not providing an educational program to a registered child, they may forward their concerns to the superintendent of schools for the district where the child resides. A superintendent shall investigate such a report as set out in the Investigation by Superintendent Order, available at 

Ministry of Education staff are currently working with the the staff of School District No.8 (Kootenay Lake) to ensure that the students are integrated as fully as possible into the programs where they have enrolled or registered. The efforts of school district staff to accommodate the former students of the BESS are a credit to their dedication and professionalism.

Again, thank you for writing. I hope this information is useful.

Yours truly,

Claire Avison

Assistant Deputy Minister

Governance Legislation and Regulation Division


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