# 2019-103 Pay and Benefits, Education Allowance
F&R Date: 2021–03–30
The grievor disagreed with the denial of Education Allowance for his child while serving outside Canada (OUTCAN). He contended that, although his child's age entitled him to full-day schooling in Ontario, full-day programs at his OUTCAN post were not guaranteed and, despite his efforts, his child was only accepted into a half-day program. As redress, he sought reimbursement of the education fees he paid for his child to attend a private school for the half-day he would have otherwise missed.
There is no Initial Authority (IA) decision as the designated IA did not render a decision within the prescribed timelines.
The Committee noted that the intent of the Foreign Service Directive (FSD) 34 (Education Allowances) is to allow students to pursue their education in a manner that is compatible with what is provided to students in Ontario. The Committee further noted that the recommendation made by Working Group B to deny the grievor's claim lacked any indication of whether they completed a full and proper assessment of the grievor's circumstances as required under subsection 34.1.5 of the FSD.
After completing such an assessment, the Committee found that the grievor's child was entitled to full-day schooling, but was not able to obtain such schooling in a non-fee paying school at post. Accordingly, the Committee concluded that the grievor's actions were reasonable and consistent with the intent of FSD 34, and that the denial of his claim for an Education Allowance was not justified nor in accordance with applicable policies.
The Committee recommended that the Final Authority (FA) re-engage Working Group B to seek their recommendation for reimbursement of the eligible school fees incurred by the grievor to send his child to a half-day program at a private school.
FA Decision Summary
The Canadian Forces Grievance Authority, as FA, agreed with the Committee's recommendation to uphold the grievance. The FA noted that the grievor's child would have been entitled to full-day grade-one program in Ontario, but was only eligible to half-day kindergarten OUTCAN due to the difference in age eligibility and wait-listing in an appropriate program. The FA found that it was "understandable and reasonable" that the grievor was compelled to enrol his child into two programs. The FA also noted that, as a result of the grievor's diligence, his child was able to transition back into the Canadian school system. The FA directed the Chief of Military Personnel to ensure that the grievor be reimbursed from the fees that were recovered.
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