Materials to which the right to free materials does not apply

The right to free materials does not apply to documents in which students write, draw or cut out or to materials for personal use.

“Materials for personal use” include, in particular:

School supplies (e.g. pencils, erasers, day planners)
Material for personal organization (e.g. pencil cases, school bags)
Clothing items (e.g. school uniforms, physical education clothing)

The right to free materials also does not apply to:

  • Activity or exercise books or reprographic material replacing or supplementing an activity or exercise book, including those on a medium based on information technology
    • For example, when a technological application is used to replace an exercise book and the student has individual access to that application
  • Notebooks, pads of paper, pocket folders, binders and separators
  • Standard calculators and scientific calculators
  • Memory sticks
  • Rulers, protractors, squares, compasses and other geometry tools
  • Highlighter pens, markers, pens, coloured pencils, pencil sharpeners, scissors and glue
  • Running shoes, dancewear and shoes, lab coats, aprons or shirts to protect clothing
    • In the case of the Retail Butchery program in vocational training, the centre receives an allowance for the purchase of aprons for students. 
  • Uniforms, boots and other clothing required for vocational training
  • Towels and blankets for rest periods
  • Locks

Moreover, the right to free materials does not apply to specialized equipment specifically required to carry out a special school project or to the maintenance of such equipment.

No supplier or specific brand may be imposed with reference to material for a student’s personal use, other than activity or exercise books.


The list of materials is not exhaustive. Similar items can be added to the examples listed under each category. The term “in particular,” however, precludes broadening the scope to other categories of material. 

Replacement of lost or damaged materials provided by the school

The Education Act stipulates that students are to take good care of the property placed at their disposal and return it when school activities have ended. If a student damages the property, the school board may claim the value of the property from the student’s parents if the student is a minor, or from the student if the student is of full age (s. 18.2).