Our Kids logo

Private vs. independent schools: what's the difference?

Find a list of schools  

Though often confused, independent schools and private schools are two distinct alternatives to public education.

Both address the needs of students who desire something different than what public education offers. However, there is a key difference between what institutions are designated private or independent. This distinction lies in their structure and their acquisition of funding.

Private schools are generally understood to be for-profit organizations established and controlled by one or more persons.

Independent most often signifies a not-for-profit school that is accountable to a board of trustees, which operates at arm’s length from the administration. As well, schools referred to as independent often point to their accreditation by a peer review body.

Five provinces where independent schools receive public funding require that they be recognized as accredited by a government body. But in Ontario, for example, independent schools share no across-the-board accreditation. Most independent schools are affiliated with associations that demand specific standards of their members.

Most independent schools are affiliated with associations that demand specific standards of their members.

According to recent statistics, around 119,000 students in Ontario alone attend independent schools and about 349,000 students across Canada. Some of these schools have even been around since the early 1800’s.

Private School Expos
FIND PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Advertisement

Five steps to finding
the perfect school


Start here

Latest Articles


December 13, 2017
Trinity College School offers full-tuition boarding scholarship for Canadian students
TCS is looking to award a scholarship to a promising student entering Grade 9 in fall 2018

December 7, 2017
What are some common signs that a child has special needs?
Some early indicators that your child has special education needs

December 7, 2017
What are the best ways to assess and diagnose special needs?
How to determine whether your child has special needs

December 7, 2017
What are some tips or suggestions for raising a child with special needs?
Some strategies for promoting the development of your exceptional child

December 4, 2017
Falling math scores? It's not what you think.
Educators Kelly Gallagher-Mackay and Nancy Steinhauer respond to claims that Canadian students are lacking the basics.