Francophone education rights

Information on the rights of parents to have their children educated in a francophone school.

Francophone education rights

Canadian citizens belonging to the francophone minority in Alberta have the right to have their children educated in francophone schools according to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 14 of the Education Act.

Francophone eligibility declaration

Section 2 (1)(s) of Alberta’s Student Record Regulation requires that all Alberta public and separate school divisions include questions on their student registration forms that indicate whether a parent is a right holder under section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and whether they wish to exercise their right.

Information is provided to Alberta Education as required by the Student Record Regulation and is treated in accordance with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and may be shared with a francophone regional authority.

Francophone right holder

According to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a parent who is a Canadian citizen has the right to have his/her children receive primary and secondary instruction in French in Alberta if:

  • Either parent’s first language learned and still understood is French; or
  • Either parent has received their own primary school instruction in Canada in French first language; or
  • Any child in the same family has received or is receiving primary and secondary school instruction in French first language in Canada.

In Alberta, parents can only exercise this right by enrolling their child in a francophone school offered by a francophone regional authority.

Section 23 of the Charter does not apply to French Immersion alternative programs where French is taught as a second language.

Francophone education

Francophone education is a French first language education program for students whose parents are right holders according to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All instruction, with the exception of English Language Arts/English Language Arts and Literature, is entirely in French and follows the Alberta curriculum.

Francophone schools provide quality education with a focus on the pillars of francophone education; language, culture, identity and a sense of belonging to the francophone community. Francophone students develop a high level of proficiency in both French and English.

Francophone regional authorities provide inclusive learning environments, full-day Kindergarten, support for newcomers, online learning (CFÉD), home education supports, knowledge and employability and more.

Affirming Francophone Education outlines the educational needs of francophone students, their families and communities, the expected outcomes for francophone education and the optimal conditions required to achieve these outcomes.

Francophone schools in Alberta

Four francophone regional authorities in Alberta operate a number of schools across the province. The website of the Fédération des conseils scolaires de l’Alberta (FCSFA) provides information about francophone schools and francophone education in Alberta.  

Parents are encouraged to contact the francophone school or francophone regional authority in their region for any questions about registering their child in a francophone school.

Conseil scolaire du Nord-Ouest

Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord

Conseil scolaire Centre-Est

Conseil scolaire FrancoSud

Additional supports

Children and students who require additional support and instruction to acquire French language proficiency can access Francisation programming in francophone schools.

For more information, see Francisation

The Fédération des parents francophones de l’Alberta (FPFA) supports francophone parents and school councils through resources, workshops and information.

The Centre francophone d’éducation à distance (CFÉD) provides online learning programs to francophone secondary students from the four regional authorities in the province.