A positive collective voice for Christian education.

The Edvance team engages with governmental organizations, industry institutions, and a wide variety of independent school associations to influence key thought leaders and stake holders towards recognition for independent Christian schools in Ontario and beyond.

Events and projects include convening leaders of independent school associations, participating in critical research projects, serving as expert witness, participating in provincial budget consultations, lobbying all levels of government, and engaging with key leaders of related stakeholder and industry organizations.

Advocacy Services Offered to Affiliate Schools

  • Active representation of independent Christian schools as key contributors to education in Ontario and beyond
  • Development of grassroots advocacy campaigns to mobilize support for independent schools’ interests
  • Advocacy with Ontario government ministries for independent schools
  • Advisory input to the Ontario College of Teachers
  • Direct access to researchers at think tanks and universities, providing insights on the independent and Christian school sector; lead or contribute to new and ongoing research on the sector.
  • Access to media relations training; support for school level government and public relations
  • Convene and contribute to relationships and activities among independent school associations

The Edvance team works closely with other associations in Ontario to ensure our voice is heard on key issues that affect our sector. Together, we advocate for fair treatment for independent schools, and we mobilize parents, school leaders, and community members to amplify issues when necessary.

As a key part of our work, we aim to break down myths about our sector and amplify relevant research about who chooses independent schools (and why), the economics of various school funding models, and how independent schools fared during the pandemic thus far.

Read on for some of this research and mobilization, and visit for statistics and information about Ontario independent schools.

REPORT: Who Chooses Ontario Independent Schools and Why?
September 9, 2019

Who chooses independent schools in Ontario and why? What is the demographic profile of families who are choosing independent schools? What are the reasons behind their choices?

REPORT: Pandemic Response: How Christian Independent Schools Responded to a Year of COVID-19
August 20, 2021

This report explores how learning continued in Ontario’s independent schools during the continuous and disruptive school closures of the 2020–21 school year.

OP-ED: Private school students excluded from rapid testing program
December 3, 2021

A few weeks after this op-ed appeared in the Hamilton Spectator, independent schools were included in the holiday rapid testing program.


For more information about advocacy services, please contact Deani Van Pelt or Tim Bentum:

Deani Van Pelt, PhD, OCT

Ext. 105


Tim Bentum, MEd
Director of Leadership and External Relations

Ext. 107