Going to School Is Mandatory

In Quebec, children must go to school starting at six years old.  

Beginning at Age Six

Not only do you have the right to go to school, but you are required to. This means you must start elementary school at the beginning of the school year during which you turn six years old.

Until What Age?

These are the age requirements:

  • You must go to school until the end of the school year during which you turn 16. OR
  • If you are under 16, you must go to school until the end of the school year during which you get your high school diploma.

Important! You cannot quit school the day you turn 16: you have to finish the school year.

During the time you are supposed to be in school, your school principal can notify your parents if you are often absent without an explanation or if you stop going to school. If your attendance does not improve, the principal can also report your situation to the Director of Youth Protection (DYP).

When School Is Optional

Some people do not have to go to school. Here are some examples:

  • People with certain health problems.
  • People with disabilities or learning difficulties that prevent them from attending school.
  • People with permission to be home-schooled.
  • People who been expelled from school. (These situations are reported to the Director of Youth Protection.) 

Important! People who are not legally required to go to school don't lose the right to go to school. The law says everyone has a right to a high school education until age 18, and age 21 for people with disabilities.  

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.