Private schools are a well-established aspect of British Columbia's education system. This province provides many strong private schools that offer a wide-range of choice, such as boarding, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, special needs, gifted, preschool, and alternative.
For more information about B.C.'s private and independent schools, visit the Our Kids' Vancouver Private School Expo. Here, you can meet administrators and instructors from some of the best private schools from across BC.
This includes schools in Vancouver, including the Greater Vancouver Area (GVA), Lower Mainland, and Tri-Cities (i.e., Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, and Port Moody). It also includes the cities of Victoria, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Kelowna, Delta, Langley, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Summerland, and more.
British Columbia recognizes the distinct advantages of private schools and therefore funds many of them. The provincial government partially funds private schools according to the quality of education that they provide. To receive funding, a school must meet clearly identified criteria, such as employing only provincially certified teachers. More than 85% of BC's private schools receive some provincial funding, thereby increasing their affordability.
The British Columbia Ministry of Education inspects and regulates private schools in the province. All schools in B.C. are accountable to the School Act which identifies their responsibilities and requirements. The Ministry of Education also educates teachers about their classroom duties and boundaries.
British Columbia has many private schools, so you'll have plenty of options to choose from. Below, we describe some of the main types of private and independent schools you’ll find in BC.
Special needs: Many BC schools offer special education programs. This includes schools with dedicated, integrated, and withdrawal special needs classes. BC private schools support students with a wide range of learning, developmental, behavioural, and physical disabilities. This includes dyslexia, ADHD, Asperger’s, autism, Down syndrome, and more.
Alternative: Alternative schools are more student-centred than traditional or mainstream schools. They tend to emphasize individualized learning, decentralized instruction, and expertiential learning, among other things. A popular alternative school in BC is Montessori.
Advanced academics: BC private schools offer several different kinds of advanced study programs. These schools offer high-level academics, where high-achieving students have the opportunity to study subjects in more depth and breadth, and sometimes at a faster pace. Programs offered include dedicated gifted classes, the International Baccalaureate (IB), and Advanced Placement (AP) classes.
Whether you enjoy lively cities, like Vancouver, Victoria, or Kelowna or you prefer living in beautiful natural scenery in British Columbia, you will find a city or town that suits your family's needs and wants. BC is simply a wonderful place to raise a family! Finding the right school is a little more work, but we have resources to help.
You should begin searching for a private school for your child well before your expected time of enrolment (some parents begin looking for a preschool or daycare when their child is still a baby). Such promptness will give you sufficient time to consider a multitude of necessary factors. Here are some considerations:
Many private schools in BC have unique educational philosophies. For instance, there are language-immersion, special needs, Christian, Catholic, AP, and IB schools. You should find out whether those approaches are suited to your child's educational needs.
Will the school help you fund your child's tuition? Private school need not be beyond your financial means, as many institutions allocate funds to scholarships and bursaries. To find out more about paying for private school, you may consult our list of 18 tips for paying private school tuition.
How far is the school from your home? Distance can be important if your children are young or there is limited public transportation. If you want your child to experience a private school's diverse programs (i.e., extracurricular activities), you might need to drive him or her to school at hours that do not fit your schedule.
What do other students and their parents say about the school? Get as much feedback from school parents as possible.
What is the school's reputation? You could contact a Ministry representative to learn about a given school's reputation. You can also check its ranking by the Fraser Institute.
Below, we list the top private schools in BC (British Columbia). Click on a link to learn all about a school, including its location, cost, programs, and curriculum.
Brookes School Canada (est. 2009)
Brookes School Canada, an IB World School on beautiful Vancouver Island, offers grades 6 to 12 for both day and boarding students with an average class size of 12 students. [View profile]
|$14,400 to $52,550
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Boarding Day Coed||14400|
|$14,965 to $29,560
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||14965|
St. George's School (est. 1930)
St. George's School in Vancouver offers university-preparatory program to Canadian and International boarding students from Grade 8 to 12. The School's mission: Building Fine Young Men. One Boy at a Time. [View profile]
|$22,450 to $68,085
||HighSchools Boarding Boys||22450|
St. Margaret's School (est. 1908)
St. Margaret's School (est. 1908) is an independent school in Victoria, BC, offering empowering education for girls from JK to Grade 12. At SMS, girls don't just get equal opportunity; they get every opportunity. [View profile]
|$14,180 to $65,490
|Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Girls||14180|
|$18,500 to $77,490
|Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Boarding Coed||18500|
|$5,175 to $11,000
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed||5175|
|$21,300 to $31,300
||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||21300|
|$15,000 to $16,000
||Elementary Day Coed||15000|
Shawnigan Lake School (est. 1916)
Shawnigan Lake School is the largest boarding school in Canada. Located in Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island, we offer a comprehensive program to 500 young men and women in grades 8-12. [View profile]
|$27,200 to $67,900
||HighSchools Boarding Day Coed||27200|
Kelowna Christian School (est. 1978)
Established in 1978, our passion is to provide families with transformative, excellent education that equips and inspires students to be disciples who are world changers that love and serve God and others. [View profile]
|$4,750 to $6,550
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||4750|
Canada Star Secondary School (est. 2016)
Canada Star Secondary's vision is to provide superior academic opportunities that allow our students to develop interests, pursue passions, and to follow the path to success and admission to top-ranked universities. [View profile]
|$14,800 to $27,800
||HighSchools Day Homestay Coed||14800|
Newbridge Academy (South Surrey) (est. 2017)
Newbridge Academy is a school for academic excellence and global mindedness. With small class sizes and personalized attention, the needs of the whole child are met, with emphasis on language, mathematics and thinking. [View profile]
||Kindergarten Elementary Day Coed||12000|
British Columbia Christian Academy (est. 1992)
BC Christian Academy offers Christian education from Preschool to Grade 12. Our dedication to academic excellence, strong Christian and moral values and a community built on compassion equip our students for the future. [View profile]
|$4,000 to $14,750
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Day Coed||4000|
Brockton School (est. 2004)
Brockton School is an independent, co-ed, non-denominational, IB World School. Brockton hosts an Early Learning Years program, a Junior School, and a Senior School, with students from Junior Kindergarten to grade 12. [View profile]
|$18,000 to $21,100
||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||18000|
|$15,810 to $18,972
||Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed||15810|
|$6,250 to $46,700
|Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Day Boarding Coed Girls||6250|
|$17,195 to $21,370
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||17195|
|$8,500 to $13,500
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||8500|
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||20000|
|$800 to $5,850
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Day Coed||800|
|$8,500 to $14,170
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Homestay Coed||8500|
Bodwell High School (est. 1991)
Bodwell High School in North Vancouver is a full boarding school that enrolls 600 students. Tuition starts at $15,500. We provide Education for a Changing World. The school motto is "Strength in Diversity." [View profile]
|$19,150 to $38,450
||HighSchools Day Day Boarding Coed||19150|
Brentwood College School (est. 1923)
Brentwood is a truly co-educational, progressive boarding school for Grades 9 to 12 located on an oceanfront campus on Vancouver Island, BC. Tuition runs from $25,700 to $66,000. [View profile]
|$27,000 to $69,600
|HighSchools Boarding Day Coed||27000|
Mediated Learning Academy (est. 2013)
The Mediated Learning Academy is a special need school for students K-12 with certified teachers, supported by Speech-Language Pathologists; Occupational and Physiotherapists, and Counsellors [View profile]
|$11,000 to $13,000
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||11000|
Venture Academy is a therapeutic treatment and education program for students who may be struggling with ADHD, learning challenges, underachieving, behavioural issues, and a variety of clinical diagnoses. [View profile]
||MiddleSchools HighSchools Homestay Coed||9999999999|
Glenlyon Norfolk School (est. 1913)
Glenlyon Norfolk School, an independent school in Victoria, BC, provides International Baccalaureate programs from JK to Grade 12. GNS offers 5- and 7-day Family Boarding for students who are not residents of Victoria. [View profile]
|$16,165 to $47,500
||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Homestay Coed||16165|
Whytecliff Agile Learning Centres (est. 1993)
Focus Foundation is a world-class educational and therapeutic learning institution, described by Dr. Charles Huffine, former President of the American Association of Community Psychiatrists. [View profile]
|$2,700 to $4,500
||HighSchools Day Homestay Coed||2700|
The Maria Montessori School (est. 1991)
Authentic Montessori Preschool. Students completing our 3 year program at The Maria Montessori School test extremely well. We balance academics, exploration and skills guided by your child's natural interests. [View profile]
|$2,500 to $4,000
||Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed||2500|
Monkey See Monkey Do Montessori (est. 2007)
We have offered high quality programs for children ages 2.5-6 since 2007 in Vancouver, B.C. Our students graduate with a solid academic foundation, good problem solving skills, pro-social behaviour and a love of school. [View profile]
|$4,500 to $7,500
|Preschool Kindergarten Day Coed||4500|
|$23,950 to $24,950
||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||23950|
|$8,938 to $16,423
||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Day Coed||8938|