The Ministry of Education believes that the education goals of school‐age students should continue to be supported if these students are required to attend government-approved facilities for care, treatment, and/or rehabilitative purposes. To the extent possible, these students should attend regular or special education classes in local schools. However, in cases where these students cannot attend local schools because of their need for care, treatment, and/or rehabilitation, suitable educational programs that recognize the primacy of their care, treatment, and/or rehabilitation needs may be provided by the school board within ECPP facilities. It is a fundamental belief of the ministry that all students can succeed when given appropriate supports.

Under the Education Act (subsection 171(1), paragraph 40), school boards have the authority to conduct education programs in ECPP facilities (such as community agencies, youth justice centres, and mental health and/or hospital settings). The education programs provided in these settings are based on a formal agreement between a school board and an ECPP facility. The school board provides the educational programming and the facility provides the care, treatment, and/or rehabilitation. Placement of a child or youth within care and treatment programs is determined by facility admission criteria; placement in custody and correctional settings is ordered by the courts.

Students in an ECPP may be among the most vulnerable and may be at risk of not completing an elementary and/or secondary education. Although some of the students served within these programs have primary needs other than education, the ministry recognizes that maintaining continuity of education during periods of care, treatment, and/or rehabilitation complements and supports treatment objectives and contributes to improved life outcomes.

The ministry document Guidelines for Approval and Provision of an Education and Community Partnership Program (ECPP) provides direction to school boards regarding the approval and delivery of educational programs for students who are clients of a government-approved ECPP facility. This document also includes information on the elements of an agreement between a facility and a district school board. The guidelines will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis, providing the ministry with a medium to support the transformation of ECPP in the coming years.

The ministry provides funding for educational programs in ECPP facilities through the Education and Community Partnership Program (ECPP) Allocation of the Special Education Grant (SEG). More information on this funding allocation can be found in the Special Education Funding section of Part A, or on the Education Funding page of the ministry website.