The following facts provide a snapshot of British Columbia’s kindergarten to Grade 12 education system.
Enrolment and schools
- As of the 2021-22 school year, there were 1,583 public schools and 371 independent schools in B.C.
- Pending final enrolment count in fall 2022, it is estimated by school districts that there will be 572,906 funded full-time equivalent (FTE) students enrolled in public schools this September for the 2022-23 school year. That would be an increase of 1,730 FTE from the 2021-22 school year.
- There are approximately 89,000 independent school students.
- Based on student head count in public and independent schools in the 2021-22 school year, there were:
- 82,786 students with special needs in the province, 4,484 more than the year before;
- 73,983 Indigenous students in the province, 584 fewer than the year before;
- 69,475 English Language Learning (ELL) students in the province, 214 more than the year before;
- 6,415 students in the francophone school district, Conseil scolaire francophone (SD 093), two more than the previous year; and
- 53,797 French immersion students in the province, 157 fewer than the year before.
- The average class size in B.C. public schools in 2021-22 was 22.5 students, which was up by 1.2% compared to 2020-21, but is a decrease from the 23.5 class size average in 2015-16.
- The average class sizes in 2021-22 were:
- 22.7 in grades 8 to 12
- 24.1 in grades 4 to 7
- 20.0 in grades 1 to 3
- 18.1 in kindergarten
- The Ministry of Education and Child Care has provided school districts with supplemental funding to support ventilation upgrades and improvements in schools over the past three years:
- January 2022 – $11.9 million in federal funding committed to implement targeted ventilation improvements in the fight against COVID-19 and illness, including funding for public school districts to deploy standalone high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration units in all classrooms with no mechanical ventilation.
- 2022-23 – 97 new ventilation upgrade and improvement projects funded for school districts through a $48.4 million investment.
- 2021-22 – 84 new ventilation upgrade and improvement projects funded for school districts through a $44.5 million investment.
- 2020-21 –78 new ventilation upgrade and improvement projects funded for school districts through a $33.5 million investment.
- Throughout the 2021-22 school year, all 60 school districts continued to regularly inspect and maintain heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems across all schools.
- The ministry continues to engage with HVAC experts, school districts, independent school officials and other stakeholders to promote continuous improvement to school ventilation using other provincial funding sources, including the Annual Facility Grant.
- The Ministry of Education and Child Care has worked with education partners to update the communicable disease guidelines for kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, based on recently updated public health guidance.
- Students and staff should regularly be checking they are not experiencing any symptoms of illness, including before they come to school.
- Wearing a mask will continue to be a personal choice, and that choice will be supported and respected. Schools will continue to have masks available for those who want to wear one.
Achievement – Six-year completion rate 2020-21 (The below applies to the six-year completion rates for B.C. residents in the B.C. public school system.)
- 90% of all B.C. students completed high school in 2020-21 with a Dogwood or Adult Dogwood diploma.
- 88.9% of English language learners completed high school in 2020-21.
- 100% of francophone students in Conseil scolaire francophone School District completed high school in 2020-21.
- 97.6% of French immersion students completed high school in 2020-21.
- 72% of Indigenous students completed high school in 2020-21, an increase of 6.3% from 66.2% in the 2016-17 school year.
- Outcomes for students with disabilities and diverse needs in B.C. are showing steady improvements. Completion rates were 74% in 2020-21, up from 62% 10 years ago.
- 44.3% of students with disabilities and diverse needs make the transition to post-secondary within two or fewer years after completing Grade 12.
- 67.4% of students who have ever been English language learners make the transition to B.C. post-secondary within two or fewer years after completing Grade 12.
- 41.6% of Indigenous students in public schools attended B.C. post-secondary within two years of completing high school, a 2.4% decrease compared to the year before.
- The immediate entry transition rate of 2019-20 Grade 12 graduates was 50.8%. Immediate entry transition rates measure the share of a Grade 12 graduation cohort who enrolled in post-secondary education within one year of Grade 12 graduation.
Investments in learning
- The Ministry of Education and Child Care is investing $8.2 billion to support students, invest in schools and support the transition and delivery of child care. Of this total, there is $7.4 billion for kindergarten to Grade 12 education this year, which is $1.8 billion more than in 2016-17. This is a total increase of 32%.
- Budget 2022 provides a $250 million increase for kindergarten to Grade 12 public schools and also includes a $105-million increase to child care funding.
- There are approximately 14,700 educational assistants in B.C. public kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, which is more than 2,000 additional full-time hires since 2016-17.
- Over the past five years from 2016-17 to 2021-22, the number of classes with an education assistant increased from 21,153 to 28,254 classes, a 34% increase.
- This year, the ministry estimates school districts will receive $711 million to support students with special needs, a $14 million increase compared to last year and a 53% increase since 2016-17.
- Targeted funding to support Indigenous students is estimated to rise to $98.7 million next school year, a 42% increase since 2016-17.
- Rural school districts are receiving $340 million for the next school year to assist with the unique challenges they face supporting students and staff. This is $67.8 million more than in 2016-17.
- This year, school districts will receive approximately $55 million through CommunityLINK and $24 million via the Equity of Opportunity Supplement to help fund programs that support vulnerable children and youth.
Student and Family Affordability Fund
- For 2022-23, government is providing $60 million in one-time funding through the Student and Family Affordability Fund to school districts to help make going back to school more affordable for families who are struggling with rising cost of living. Additionally, $3.8 million through the fund will be provided to the Federation of Independent School Associations (FISA) to distribute to independent school authorities.
- Government is working to make sure all kids in B.C. get the quality education and opportunities they deserve.
- Budget 2022 commits $3.1 billion for capital projects over the next three years, which includes $930 million in 2022-23 for new and expanded schools, seismic upgrades, maintenance, playgrounds and property purchases for future schools.
- This represents a 78% increase over the amount announced in spring 2017.
- The provincial government is improving safety for students and staff by accelerating seismic upgrades at B.C. schools, with $793 million in funding earmarked over the next three years.
- Government created an ongoing $5-million annual Playground Equipment Program (PEP) in 2018. Through Budget 2022, funding was used for 30 new and improved playgrounds in 24 school districts, reducing parents’ need to fundraise for school playgrounds.
- Since the PEP started in 2018, government has invested $30 million to fund new playgrounds at 231 schools throughout the province, benefiting more than 57,000 students.