Montreal

Quebec's English schools hurt by enrolment decline

The latest numbers from the province's Education Ministry show a growing trend toward enrolling English-speaking students in French-language schools.

13,000 students eligible for English instruction actually study at French schools

The number of students enrolled in French schools who are actually eligible for English instruction has grown to 12 per cent.

Last year, more than 13,000 students eligible to study in English were instead enrolled in French schools, and that trend could spell trouble for the future of English-language instruction in Quebec.

We have to do more to convince our English parents who are thinking of French schools to take a look at what we’re doing.- David D'Aoust, president of Quebec English School Boards Association

David D’Aoust, the president of the Quebec English School Boards Association, said a study recently issued by the province’s Education Ministry showing these numbers is a wake-up call that more needs to be done to counteract declining enrolment.

“There are at least 12,000 students that we know of, according to the ministry, who aren’t attending our system who are eligible, D’Aoust told CBC News.

“Some of those decisions are made for very personal reasons by parents, but there are 12,000 students we could use in our system,” he continued.

The ministry’s report says that 13,132 students eligible to study in English are at French-language schools. D’Aoust said that number is double what it was two decades ago.

He said it really affects English-language schools in the province because the funding they receive from the ministry are based on the number of students attending their schools.

“We have to do more to convince our English parents who are thinking of French schools to take a look at what we’re doing,” D’Aoust said.

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