Province Introduces New High School Graduation Requirements for a Stronger Ontario Diploma

Suite of reforms will modernize requirements for a secondary school diploma for the first time in 25 years

May 30, 2024


Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Related Topics

TORONTO — The Ontario government is modernizing the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) requirements for the first time in 25 years, and launching consultations with parents, job creators, educators and stakeholders on what skills students need to be better prepared for life beyond the classroom through the reintroduction of modernized home economics education.

The province is introducing a suite of reforms to ensure Ontario’s diploma embraces the back-to-basics agenda, including:

  • new financial literacy graduation requirement to ensure students exit Ontario’s school system with both literacy and practical financial literacy skills.
  • Consulting on important life skills and the return of home economics education.
  • Ensuring new teachers hold basic competency in math. Teacher applicants to the Ontario College of Teachers must pass the Math Proficiency Test beginning in February 2025.
  • For the first time in 13 years, a wholesale revitalization of guidance and career education to support students’ understanding of local labour market needs and pathways to good careers.
  • Up to $14 million in 2024-25 to launch career coaching for Grade 9 and 10 students and to explore new opportunities into STEM and skilled trades.
  • Return of the student exit survey to benchmark success and garner feedback on the impact of reforms with an emphasis on guidance.

“Too many parents, employers and students themselves tell me that students are graduating without sufficient financial literacy and basic life skills,” said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “As we go back-to-basics in the classroom, we will introduce Ontario’s first financial literacy graduation requirement, along with the return of modernized home economics education. By elevating life skills in the classroom, along with better career education and higher math standards on educators, we are setting up every student for life-long success. Our bottom line: ensuring students graduate with practical learning that leads them to better jobs and bigger paycheques.”

Ontario will be introducing a new financial literacy assessment as a graduation requirement to ensure students have the skills and knowledge to create and manage a household budget, save for a home, learn to invest wisely, and protect themselves from financial fraud. Starting in 2025, students will be required to score 70 per cent or higher to meet the financial literacy graduation requirement in their Grade 10 math course. Furthermore, the province will standardize making EQAO Grade 9 Math scores 10 per cent or more of a student’s final mark, a practice already used by the majority of teachers.

Students will also benefit from modernized career education programming in their schools with more exposure to the skilled trades and priority economic sectors. The government is investing up to $14 million in 2024-25 for career coaching for Grade 9 and 10 students in the publicly funded education system. In partnership with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, this funding will also provide resources and tools to help at-risk youth, individuals in youth justice facilities, and students in other publicly funded educational settings outside of regular classrooms. Through shared agreements with school boards and other existing structures, this career coaching will help young people succeed and become positive members of their communities.

“All children and youth in Ontario deserve to have the resources and supports they need to succeed and thrive,” said Michael Parsa, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “Today’s announcement is an important step as we work to empower youth-at-risk and those involved in the justice system with the tools they need to get their life on the right track. Together, we can help them build a brighter future for themselves and their communities.”

The government is also working with the Ontario College of Teachers to support aspiring guidance counsellors by revising Additional Qualification guidelines. New changes will update guidance counsellor qualifications and impose annual training to deliver meaningful value to students. School boards will be required to provide opportunities for guidance counsellors to keep current on labour market trends and work with local employers to support skilled young people to find career opportunities in the communities where they were raised.

Ontario will begin consultations this fall with parents and experts on what practical life skills students should learn in school to build a strong foundation that sets them up for success. This can include the mandatory inclusion of life skills like nutritious cooking, changing a tire, sewing a button, using first aid, personal responsibility and basic economics, all of which can prove valuable throughout a student’s lifespan. This places an emphasis on personal development, decision-making and intrapersonal skills, all of which are in demand by employers across the economy.

Quick Facts

  • The last major overhaul of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma was in 1999 with the removal of OAC (Grade 13) and introduction of community involvement hours.
  • According to a 2022 Royal Bank of Canada poll, nearly 83 per cent of young Canadians reported needing more information and support on money management, and 68 per cent reported feeling overwhelmed and needed help.
  • Ontario is Making It Easier to Enter Skilled Trades by introducing new policy and legislative measures to attract more young people to the skilled trades, including adding a new apprenticeship pathway and an online job matching platform.
  • The Ontario government has opened grant applications for the Ontario Learn and Stay Grant for the 2024-25 academic year. Postsecondary students who want to pursue a career in nursing, paramedicine or medical lab technology can now apply for the grant.


“Our government recognizes the need to prepare the next generations of Ontarians with the right tools necessary to help build the best possible financial future for themselves and our whole province. We will not take the wellbeing of young Ontarians for granted. This is a step in the right direction to ensure our children and grandchildren learn the basics of financial literacy and responsibility that will help them prepare for the future.”

– Peter Bethlenfalvy
Minister of Finance

“Ontario’s new financial literacy graduation requirement is a major step forward for our high school students. By prioritizing financial education, we are equipping our next generation with the foundation they need to make informed financial decisions, build a secure future and contribute to a robust and resilient economy. “

– MPP Billy Pang
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education

“Modernizing the Ontario Secondary School Diploma requirements will provide secondary school students with a more relevant and comprehensive education that better prepares them for the challenges of the future. This approach will benefit students by contributing to the development of a more skilled and adaptable workforce, incorporating life skills such as financial literacy into graduation requirements that will prepare students to become well-rounded adults. These skills are crucial for personal and professional success.”

– MPP Natalie Pierre
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education

“Financial literacy is an essential life skill that gives young people the tools they need to plan for the future. Part of that planning also involves preparing for their careers, so it’s equally important that school counsellors work collaboratively with local employers to provide students with the most informed guidance possible.”

– Goldy Hyder
President and CEO, Business Council of Canada

“The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) would like to commend the Minister, and the Ministry of Education in Ontario, for taking a leadership position on such important areas of learning for our children’s future – their financial literacy and capability, their essential life skills that will be addressed in a long-needed new approach to home economics, and their ability to navigate a pathway to a career for which they have interest and passion and that can lead to meaningful employment or self-employment. We have long needed such leadership, not only in this province but throughout the country. We wish the Minister and his team much success and will do all we can to support their efforts.”

– Gary Rabbior
President, Canadian Foundation for Economic Education

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has long advocated for a stronger talent pipeline between our education system and key industries with market need — and for graduates with financial literacy and life skills. Today’s announcement promised to give Ontario’s young talent a greater understanding of diverse career pathways and the skills to succeed in the economy of the future.”

– Daniel Tisch
President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

“CPA Ontario applauds the Ministry of Education for taking important steps to prioritize financial literacy among Ontario’s high school students. Making financial literacy a graduation requirement will empower our youth with essential life skills and help them navigate an increasingly complex economy. With our mandate to protect the public, we understand the vital role financial literacy plays in securing Ontario’s future.”

– Carol Wilding
President and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario

“We applaud the government and Minister Lecce for these positive steps that will help students succeed in school, in their careers and in life. These are valuable and much needed skills that will greatly benefit those in secondary school and help them deal with the changing times and economy.”

– Ian Howcroft
CEO, Skills Ontario

“By introducing a financial literacy graduation requirement, the Ontario government is taking a bold step to equip students with an essential life skill. It will ensure high school students have the knowledge they need to successfully manage their finances, from budgeting to investing. We will need a future workforce that is financially savvy and resilient, capable of making informed decisions and contributing to a stronger economy.”

– Giles Gherson
President and CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade

“The new OSSD requirements in financial literacy, the consultation on a new life skills course and a refreshed approach to career exploration and work readiness support youth to gain the skill set and mindset they need to realize their boundless potential. JA’s approach to immersive, experiential learning brings curriculum off the page and into real world application. We look forward to collaborating with the ministry and our educator partners to fuel student success in these subjects.”

– Jennifer Holmes Weier
President & CEO, JA Central Ontario

“By equipping our youth with financial knowledge, we are empowering them to navigate life’s financial landscape with confidence and competence. This investment in their education not only secures their future but also lays the groundwork for a stronger, more prosperous Ontario. As a financial wellness educator, I echo the sentiments of Minister Lecce and commend the Ford government for championing this essential step towards equipping our students with the tools for lifelong success.”

– Saijal Patel
Founder & CEO, Saij Wealth Consulting Inc.

“JUMP Math looks forward to supporting all efforts to further Ontario students’ financial literacy skills, foundational skills and broaden their pathways into STEM and skilled trades to support our provincial labour market needs. We also welcome the opportunity to expand new Ontario teachers’ math knowledge through our suite of evidence-based math education tools and resources.”

– Ken Aucoin

“FIRST Robotics Canada enthusiastically supports the Ontario government’s initiative to modernize the Ontario Secondary School Diploma requirements. Integrating financial literacy, life skills and enhanced STEM education will equip students with essential tools for success in a rapidly evolving technological landscape. These reforms will not only foster critical thinking and innovation but also prepare students for meaningful careers, driving economic growth and prosperity. They also align well with the goals we have at FIRST Robotics Canada with respect to STEM skills and the Skilled Trades, effectively preparing our students for the future!”

– Arti Javeri
Vice President, Partnerships, First Robotics Canada

Additional Resources

Related Topics

Education and Training

Learn about Ontario’s early years, education and training systems. Includes information on child care, elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, skills training and financial aid. Learn more