The legal structure of education involves many moving parts.  There is a series of different laws that apply to education in British Columbia.  The starting point is the Constitution Act, 1867, which grants (Department of Justice) the provinces, not the federal government, the exclusive power to make laws in relation to education.

Laws enacted at the provincial level primarily involve statutes and regulations.  The statutes contain the meatier rules, while the regulations address specific or more administrative issues.  All the current statutes and regulations in British are available at BCLaws, which is published by the Queen’s Printer for British Columbia in partnership with the Ministry of Attorney General and the Law Clerk of the Legislative Assembly. 

Unlike certain areas of law where a single statute applies broadly to an entire industry, education law involves many different statutes specific to certain parts of the educational process.

K to 12

  • School Act, and see here for regulations
  • Independent School Act, and see here for regulations

Post-Secondary Education

  • University Act, and see here for regulations – this applies to most universities, other than Royal Roads University and Thompson Rivers University, which have their own statutes
  • College and Institute Act, and see here for regulations
  • Degree Authorization Act, and see here for regulations
  • Theological colleges have generally been created and are being regulated by private acts (e.g. Trinity Western University Act)
  • University Foundations Act

First Nations

  • First Nations Education Act


  • Teachers Act, and see here for regulations.