Private school grades to be flagged in Ont.

Ontario will start requiring high school credits and grades received from private schools to be flagged on student transcripts with the letter "P" starting this fall.

Ontario will start requiring high school credits and grades received from private schools to be flagged on student transcripts with the letter "P" starting this fall.

Education Minister Kathleen Wynne confirmed Tuesday that the move was in response to public concerns that some private schools were providing "easy marks" for a fee. Such fees can run up to $2,000 for a three-week summer Grade 12 English course.

Wynne said guidance councillors have long expressed concerns that up until now, there has been no way to track where students received their credits.

Wynne added that the province will start keeping a closer eye on private schools by:

  • Boosting the frequency of provincial inspections.
  • Monitoring schools that are underperforming.
  • Reinstating a requirement that private schools submit a notice containing details of student safety and achievement that will be posted online.

"We're trying to bring more transparency to this," Wynne said, adding that only a small minority of schools are at risk of not meeting provincial standards.

The government is also studying how to define a school and distinguish schools from tutoring services through criteria such as classroom hours.

There are 315 private schools in Ontario that offer credits toward an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, and must have passed inspection by the Ministry of Education in order to do so. However, the inspection does not deal with health, equipment, safety practices, or staffing issues.