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High School Graduation Rate Climbs to All-Time High

News Release

High School Graduation Rate Climbs to All-Time High

Ontario’s Investments in Education Drive Rate to Historic Level of 86.5 Per Cent

Ministry of Education

Ontario's unprecedented investments in education have pushed the high school graduation rate to a historic new high, as more students than ever before are obtaining a high school diploma and gaining the skills and experience required for the jobs of tomorrow.

In 2016, the five-year graduation rate increased to 86.5 per cent - up more than 18 percentage points compared to the 2004 rate of 68 per cent. The number of students graduating in four years continues to grow and is now 79.6 per cent - an increase of more than 23 percentage points since 2004.

A number of innovative programs introduced as part of the Student Success Strategy have helped improve the graduation rate. These include Specialist High Skills Majorsdual credits and expanded cooperative education. Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, students can customize their high school experience to match their strengths, interests and career goals, creating a more engaging learning environment, and better preparing them to pursue future opportunities. The new Career Kick-Start Strategy will also help more students gain work-related experience during their studies, build their resumes and develop job relevant skills.

The 2017 Budget includes an additional investment of $6.4 billion over three years in Ontario's education system, which reflects the government's commitment to help learners reach their full potential by supporting them from full-day kindergarten to postsecondary education and beyond.

Enabling more students to achieve success in school and beyond is part of Ontario's plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario's new Career Kick-Start Strategy will provide nearly $190 million over three years to create 40,000 new work-related opportunities for students and recent graduates to give them the experience they need to help land a good job.
  • Since 2004, approximately 217,500 more students have graduated than would have if the graduation rate had remained at the 2004 level.
  • In 2015, the percentage of students graduating within five years of starting high school in Grade 9 was 85.5 per cent; and the percentage of students graduating within four years was 78.3 per cent.
  • For the third year in a row, the government is publishing school board graduation rates across the province. The government is also providing the trend in board graduation rates. The goal is to ensure parents, students, teachers and school boards have access to data that can help improve student achievement. Ontario is expanding the successful Specialist High Skills Majors program over the next three years to introduce 17,000 more Grade 11 and 12 students to career options while obtaining their high school diploma.
  • Ontario is partnering with educators on 29 pilot projects across the province to revise the current career studies course and help students develop the skills they need to compete in the rapidly changing and highly competitive global economy.
  • Ontario is also staging a number of professional development sessions for educators to support the guidance and career education program for students.

Background Information

Additional Resources

Quotes

Mitzie Hunter

“Ontario’s graduation rate keeps rising, highlighting the strength of our education system and the hard work of students and those who encourage them. And with support from parents and the professionalism of our educators, we will continue to ensure that students are graduating with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive as they embark on their career paths.”

Mitzie Hunter

Minister of Education

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Education and Training