What are the rules for collecting, using, disclosing and requiring the production of Ontario Education Numbers?

The Ontario Education Number (OEN) is a unique identification number assigned to each student or potential student of prescribed institutions, including school boards, schools under the jurisdiction of a school board or the Ministry of Education,  and all private schools in Ontario. In some cases, this also includes First Nation education authorities.18

Institutions that are prescribed under the Education Act are permitted to collect – directly or indirectly – and use and disclose personal information for the purposes of assigning an OEN to a student.19 A student’s OEN will follow the student through their elementary and secondary (and, in some cases, post-secondary) education. OENs may be collected, used, disclosed or produced for purposes of:

  • providing educational services
  • education administration, funding, planning or research
  • providing financial assistance to students20

Prescribed institutions are required to use an individual’s OEN in:

  • records compiled and maintained in accordance with the Education Act
  • applications for enrolment in an educational program
  • student assessments, tests and evaluations21

No one is permitted to use, disclose or require the production of another person’s OEN, except as provided by the Education Act,22 and to do so is an offence under that act.23


18. Regulation 440/01 under the Education Act
19 Education Act, s. 266.2(2)
20 Education Act, s. 266.3
21 Regulation 440/01 under the Education Act, s. 4
22 Education Act, s. 266.3(1)
23 Education Act, s. 266.4(1-3)

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