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France:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

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Overview France

Contents

France:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

France:Historical Development

France:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

France:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

France:Political and Economic Situation

France:Organisation and Governance

France:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

France:Lifelong Learning Strategy

France:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

France:Organisation of Private Education

France:National Qualifications Framework

France:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

France:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

France:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

France:Funding in Education

France:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

France:Higher Education Funding

France:Adult Education and Training Funding

France:Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

France:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:Primary Education

France:Organisation of Primary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

France:Assessment in Primary Education

France:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

France:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

France:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

France:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

France:Higher Education

France:Types of Higher Education Institutions

France:First Cycle Programmes

France:Bachelor

France:Short-Cycle Higher Education

France:Second Cycle Programmes

France:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

France:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

France:Adult Education and Training

France:Distribution of Responsibilities

France:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

France:Main Providers

France:Main Types of Provision

France:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

France:Teachers and Education Staff

France:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

France:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Management and Other Education Staff

France:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

France:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

France:Management Staff for Higher Education

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

France:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

France:Quality Assurance

France:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

France:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

France:Educational Support and Guidance

France:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

France:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

France:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

France:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

France:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

France:Mobility and Internationalisation

France:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Mobility in Higher Education

France:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

France:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

France:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

France:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

France:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

France:National Reforms in School Education

France:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

France:National Reforms in Higher Education

France:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

France:European Perspective

France:Legislation

France:Glossary

2016

Aide à la Recherche du Premier Emploi (ARPE – Support for the first job search)

Timeframe: Announced by law n.2016-1088 of august 8, 2016 regarding employment, social dialogue modernization and career paths securisation; set up and applied through application decree n.2016-1089 regarding the ARPE

Status: Set up and applied through application decree n.2016-1089 regarding the ARPE 

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research, Department of Economy and Finance

Reasons / Objectives: 

Created to improve living conditions during the first-job search and paid for 4 months, the ARPE is introduced starting September 2016. It is intended to help recent graduates of higher education and recent graduates of apprenticeship programmes that first enter the job market. The ARPE is given to help the graduate during his/her research of a first job.

Main measures adopted: 

Support (free of taxe and free of social security charges) is given for 4 months to job-seeking individuals that are under 28 (at their request) and that obtained (for less than 4 months at the moment of the request) a diploma from an education programme that aims at preparing for the job market. This support is restricted to recent graduates from school or higher education while being the recipient of a national grant during the last academic year of the programme before graduation. Recent graduates from apprenticeship may also be eligible for the ARPE under the same resources conditions than grans in secondary or higher education. 

If the graduate obtains a job during the 4 months he/she receives the ARPE and his/her salary is above 78% of the minimum salary, he/she is to report it to the institution that delivers the support which then ends the payment. 

Decree n.2016-1089 sets the conditions and allocation terms of the ARPE, as well as the list of diplomas that are eligible for the support. The maximum amount of resources that allows recent graduates to be eligible for the support as well as the monthly amount they get is given by the joint ministerial ruling of the Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research and the Department of Economy and Finance.

Monthly amount for graduates of a secondary education programme that prepares for the job market 
200 euros
Monthly amount for graduates of an initial higher education programme that prepares for the job market 
Same amount the student perceived for his/her grant when he was supported during the programme’s last academic year before graduation
Monthly amount for graduates of an apprenticeship higher education programme that prepares for the job market 
300 euros

'Fu'nding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: Unknown

References: L’ARPE, etudiant.gouv.fr ; loi n° 2016-1088 du 8 août 2016 relative au travail, à la modernisation du dialogue social et à la sécurisation des parcours professionnels, Légifrance ; décret d’application n°2016-1089 du 8 août 2016 relatif à l'aide à la recherche du premier emploi, Légifrance ; arrêté du 8 août 2016 fixant les montants de l’ARPE et les montants maximaux de ressources permettant aux diplômés d’obtenir l’ARPE

New steps for the digital plan for education

Timeframe: The new website, the Commission Nationale pour l’Informatique et des Libertés’s (CNIL – National Commission for Digital uses and Liberties) agreement and the Trust Charter are already operational, the call for proposals has March 31st, 2016 for deadline

Status: Set up in the framework of the "Digital School" plan that was announced in May 2015

Responsible Authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Reasons / Objectives: Announced in may 2015, the digital plan for education looks to improve pupils’ learning. The minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research announced a Trust Charter for digital uses for education, that all digital service providers will have to sign, in order to protect pupils’, teaching staff’s and parent’s personal data. The minister also announced the signing of an agreement with the Commission Nationale pour l’Informatique et des Libertés’s (CNIL – National Commission for Digital uses and Liberties) and launched the new website ecolenumerique.education.gouv.fr destined to parents, teaching staff and local authorities.

Main measures adopted:
 

  1. Towards a democratisation process of digital uses

The first phase of the call for proposals launched by the minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research, and the General Commissioner for Investment, allowed the commission to retain the application of 738 collèges and 225 associated primary schools that represent 80,000 pupils and 11,000 teachers, which will receive individual mobile equipment and digital resources as soon as September 2016. 

A second call for proposals was initiated. Local authorities and rectorats have the option to propose new candidatures until March 31st, 2016. Two new provisions were added to the specifications. Firstly, more primary schools associated with a project that was proposed by their sector’s collège may apply. Secondly, all the collèges that already received individual equipment for their pupils following a request that came from the local authority only may benefit a financial provision to obtain digital resources (30 euros per pupil).

  1. A new website destined to parents, teaching staff and local authorities : ecolenumerique.education.gouv.fr

The minister launches ecolenumerique.education.gouv.fr, a new website regarding the digital plan for education, destined to parents, teaching staff and local officials. The website gives a comprehensive look at educational advantages of digital uses, the challenges of the plan and gives tools for all actors: map with all collèges that participate in the plan, educational resources, tool to deploy the plan at the local level for officials. The website will be regularly updated, specifically to help parents prepare their children’s new academic year as well as discover new digital usages. 

  1. Signing of an agreement with the CNIL for responsible digital uses

Digital uses taking more and more place, in school as well as in the society in general, come with more and more personal data gathering and data mining. Children in particular, make and broadcast a rising amount of data about their private life. In order to help responsible uses of the digital tool, while taking care of the respect of privacy, fundamental liberties and the values of the Republic, it is now necessary to give everyone the keys to understand digital uses and to give a real education to the pupils on this topic.

With the signin of the agreement on responsible uses of the digital tools in school, the Department and the Commission Nationale pour l’Informatique et des Libertés’s (CNIL – National Commission for Digital uses and Liberties), join their force in order to set up measures towards students and the teaching staff. For instance, developing continuous training for teachers, in particular regarding the protection of personal data and privacy online.

  1. The set up of a Trust Charter of digital services for education

In order to establish a trusting relationship between schools, pupils, parents and digital service providers, it is necessary to insure the security and the reliability of the digital services provided. 

The Department, the Union group of companies of digital counseling, the French association of digital educational services companies, and the National Union of publishing decided to co-create a Trust Charter of Educational Digital Services that will be signed by all digital service providers in education. This will allow all actor to use sometimes new digital services without any concern regarding privacy and personal data.

Funding: Only the continuous training for the teaching staff envelope is known so far: a 24 million euros plan over 3 years.

Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: Unknown

References: Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche : l’École Numérique

Access to the criminal record and of the national file of authors of sexual or criminal offenses of agents of the department of national education that are regularly in contact with minors

Timeframe: Set up by direction of March 23rd, 2016 published in the Official Journal no. 13 of March 31st, 2016

Status: Set up following the report no. 2015-056, in the framework of Ordinance no. 2015-1841 of December 30th, 2015

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Reasons / Objectives: The implementation by the French Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research of a control of the criminal record during the career of agents that are regularly in contact with minors was one of the recommendations of the report no. 2015-056. This report was written by the General Inspectorate of the Administration of National Education and of Research, and the General Inspectorate of Judicial Services to improve communication of information regarding agents between justice and National Education, after pedophilia cases were discovered in Isère and Îlle-et-Villaine during spring 2015. 

Main measures adopted: Ordinance no. 2015-1841 of December 30th, 2015 now allows all public administrations to check the criminal record during the career of agents that are regularly in contact with minors. It was already possible to check the national file of sexual or violent offenders to check agents with professions implying regular contact with minors in the penal procedure code. 

Along with the current legal works regarding information exchanges between judicial authorities and administrations, the minister of National Education, Higher Education and Research decided to set up an automatic control of the criminal record of agents that are regularly working with minors.

It is a punctual operation that takes place until new modes of communication envisaged in the draft law are operational between judicial authorities and National Education. It is complementary to already taken measures in September 2015, such “justice advisers” in academies and “education advisers” in courts. 

This will allow authorities to identify agents that would have already been convicted of offenses against minors, and are still working as of today. The identification of an agent with one of several conviction, or an agent that is in the file of sexual or violent offenders will allow the administration to take disciplinary action against them after a careful evaluation of their situation, in order to protect minors.

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: Unknown

References: Bulletin Officiel n°13 du 31 mars 2016 ; Instruction du 23 mars 2016

2015

"École-entreprise : 12 mesures pour développer les relations pour l'orientation et l'insertion professionnelle des jeunes" (School-businesses : 12 measures to develop relationships for guidance and profesional integration of students)

Timeframe: The measures were announced on December 2nd 2015. Each measure follows a different timeframe, yet most of the measures call for an implementation in 2016. 

Status: These measures are based on: 

  • Theinter-ministerial mission for the evaluation of the modernization of public actions, launched after the 2014 social conference, which brought together all actors concerned by School-Business relations (professionals, businesses, teachers, students, social partners, parents, other ministries, etc.) and which worked on site in six académies (Caen, Lille, Lyon, Montpellier, Strasbourg and Versailles);
  • The October 14th 2015 recommendations of the National Education-Economy Council (CNEE) concerning the improvement of the ISCED 2 mandatory internship (year 4 of ISCED 2) and the Parcours Avenir (individualized pathway of information, orientation and professional discovery), formulated by the representatives of businesses, unions, schools and Higher Education Institutions, administrations, local authorities and non-profit organizations.

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research 

Raisons / Objectives: 

Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research aims at transmitting knowledge and skills to students, including those that will be of use in their integration into the workforce. The school system reaches this goal by offering quality initial training and by fostering conditions that will facilitate integration in to the workforce, whether it is through general, technological, or vocational education. Twelve measures have been announced by the Ministry to support these goals. 

Main measures adopted: 

  1. Internship hubs in each territory, equipped with 660 youth engaged in civil service to assist students in finding an internship
  2. A better-prepared internship during collège with:
  • The implementation of a systematic preparation of youth before their internships
  • The creation of a MOOC for businesses to help them better welcome ISCED 2 intern
  1. “A visit, a meeting, an internship, a concrete project” for all each ISCED 2 student to make the Parcours Avenir a reality
  2. Six new job and qualifications campuses to respond to high-stakes economic sectors
  3. A new space for dialogue between economic actors and Higher Education, « National Sectorial Councils »
  4. A mandatory on-site internship in the initial training of school heads and inspectors
  5. Accompanying kits for businesses and teachers concerning actions that can be led together 
  6. The launch of a reflection on the assignments of the 4 500 technological education advisors, in order to better use their skills to support education teams 
  7. The creation of a professional development module on entrepreneurship 
  8. Professionals committing to the National Education citizens reserve in order to transmit values and experience to youth 
  9. The implementation of a national governance system for School-Business relations, conducted bt National education and associating all relevant ministries and partners 
  10. The generalization of local School-Business committees in order to strengthen School-Business relations nationwide. 

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and Monitoring: Unknown 

References : École-entreprise : 12 mesures pour développer les relations pour l'orientation et l'insertion professionnelle des jeunes

"Renforcer la mixité sociale dans les collèges(Develop the social diversity in collèges)

Timeframe: Project announced on November 9th, 2015, measures put in experimentation in pilot areas starting end of 2015, operationalization of the proposed solutions on pilot territories and Conseil National pour l'Évaluation du Système Scolaire (CNESCO - National Council for the Evaluation of the School System) report expected for September 2016.

Status: Legal framework given by article L213-1 of the French Code of Education, modified by the law no. 2013-595 of July 8th 2013 for restructuring schools. The implementation modalities are specified in decree no. 2014-800 of July 5, 2014 and circular no. 2014-181 of January 7, 2015.

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Reasons / Objectives: 

Social diversity in schools is statistically observed through the prism of Socio-professional categories: "unprivileged", "middle class", "privileged", "highly privileged". In 2014, 21% of college students have "highly privileged" parents, and 39% have "unprivileged" parents. The 7075 collèges have a very strong heterogeneity in terms of social composition. Indeed, when 10% of institutions find about half of the students (42%) who are "highly privileged", only 1% of establishments concentrated 82% of "unprivileged" collèges students.

The great mobilization of School for the Republican values initiated in January 2015, as the conclusions of the inter-ministerial committee "Equality-Citizenship: The Republic in action" of March 6, have made the social mix in schools a major objective for government action. The challenge of social diversity is central to student success, particularly for the most vulnerable ones, and to the sense of belonging of all the children of France to the Republic as well. The "Grande pauvreté et réussite scolaire" report (Extreme poverty and educational success) has highlighted the consequences of extreme poverty in the School of academic failure, itself exacerbated by the lack of social mix that affects too many institutions.

In this context, the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research decided to initiate a formal approach to strengthen the social mix in schools. This approach is based on a construction from actors and territorial needs, the Department itself being in an impulse and support of local initiative position.

Many recent scientific works carried out by the services of the ministry, which specifically establish social non-diversity indicators that can be used at the territorial level, will be used to support pilot initiatives. The mix is not only an issue of segmentation. Studies have shown that uncontrolled liberalization exacerbates inequalities, when a too rigid framework prevents the reducing of said inequalities.

Main measures adopted:

  1. Indentification of relevant areas

The issues of competition between colleges play an even more local level than the department. To act, we must define a relevant area, which has the following characteristics:

  • an area with a scale of distance / time making students movements realistic;
  • a set of collèges, not too many, between which families will exercise a choice;
  • a set of collèges with differences in the social composition of each college.

Field workers in the pilot areas have two mapping tools for decision support. The aim is to better define the territories where the local action could lead to strengthening the social mix within schools. Actors will see what the actual areas of attraction of public and private collèges are, while taking into account possible effects of competition or avoidance. The approach takes into account the challenges brought about by planned opening or closure of an establishment. The partnership may also take into account issues of social diversity and recruitment areas of schools and lycées nearby.

The identification phase is nearing completion. To date, 14 académies are involved in the process, 17 volunteering départements, with political balance taken into account.

  1. A scientific support

Scientific support of the process is set up to support local stakeholders and ensures the subsequent dissemination of good practices from pilot territories. It will allow researchers of various profiles to work together (sociologists, economists, etc.).

The scientific support will thus be deployed at two levels:

  • An operational level, coordinated by the Department to support the local actors and stakeholders with the help of nationwide researchers. Many scientists confirmed their commitment to the process;
  • An overall assessment is to be conducted by the Conseil National pour l'Évaluation du Système Scolaire (CNESCO - National Council for the Evaluation of the School System) to identify the most effective mechanisms to make appropriate recommendations to their development on other areas. A study drawing the first lessons of the approach in the context of a broader evaluation report on territorial inequalities is planned for the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and Monitoring: Monitoring the process will result in scientific work and a report of the CNESCO.

References: Ministère de l’Éducation Nationale, de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche : Renforcer la mixité sociale dans les collèges

L'école Numérique ("The digital school")

Timeframe: Starting September 2015.

Status: Announced on May 7th, 2015, and starts as soon as September 2015.

Reasons / Objectives: From September 2015 on, 500 schools and collèges will be “online”, thus being the first step of the Digital plan for education. As soon as September 2015, more than 70 000 pupils and 8 000 teachers will be experimenting new teaching methods with digital tools.

The Minister of the National Education, Higher Education and Research did launch on March 10th a Call for projects to select these schools and collèges. This Call for projects received many applications from académies and local authorities. Based on volunteering and ambition of schools, academies and local authorities, the Call for projects aimed to see high quality educational projects emerge.

Main measures adopted: The selection committee, who met on May 5th, was composed with delegates from Assemblée des départements de France(French assembly of départements) and from Association des maires de France (French Mayors’ association). Consistent with the proposals of académies and the local authorities, the selection committee decided to let a large place to priority education collèges and to integrate an important number and primary schools, in order to improve elementary schools-collège continuum. Finally, the selection committee chose 209 collèges, among which 109 are in priority education zones, and 337 primary schools.

Pupils and teachers will receive portable hardware and digital resources. Teachers will benefit a specific training to educational uses of digital resources. Local authorities will be supported by the State when acquiring hardware. As of May 7th, 60 départements already expressed their support towards this initiative, and 17 more indicated their intention to engage in the same undertaking. This first step of the Digital plan for education takes an experimental form, and will bring valuable information in order to facilitate generalization starting September 2016.

Funding: Unknown.

Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: Unknown.

References: Concertation nationale sur le numérique pour l’éducation : École Numérique</p>

La Réserve Citoyenne ("The citizen reserve")

Timeframe: Set up by circular no. 2015-077 of May 12th, 2015.

Status: Set up in the framework of the Grande mobilisation pour les valeurs de la République; applied with circular no. 2015-077 of May 12th, 2015.

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research.

Raisons/Objectives:Being one of the Grande mobilisation pour les valeurs de la République’s measures, the Citizen Reserve of National Education allows schools to find motivated volunteers amongst civil society in order to help teachers and educational staffs transmit the French Republic values to pupils. The Reserve is complementary to existing projects led schools partners, such as associations. It represents an individual unpaid commitment: it responds to numerous requests of citizens willing to assist teachers to transmit Republican values. As such, it is open to any person over 18: association’s volunteers, youngsters (especially higher education students), volunteers and former volunteers of civic service, elected officials, retired or professionals, army reservists, local delegates of the national education department, etc.

Main measures adopted:

Set up as one of the measures of the Grande mobilisation pour les valeurs de la République, the Citizen Reserve represents, for the Department of National Education, the opportunity to mobilize, beyond the framework in which the educational community and many partners already work (in an association, civic service, etc.), motivated volunteers among the civil society. Its goal is to help educational staffs of schools (public and private institutions) ask in more easily interventions of outside “lecturers”. These speakers will be asked to illustrate learnings through their own experience, particularly in fields such as citizenship and secularism education, gender equality, fight against all kinds of discriminations, racism and anti-Semitism, media education and to bring schools and professional sphere closer together.

Management of the Citizen Reserve of National Education is entrusted to the academic (cf. académies) level: a “Citizen Reserve” adviser is appointed under the responsibility of the Recteur d’académie. Once volunteers applied on the dedicated website, the adviser manages the building of the Reserve in the académie, while taking care to tightly involve all schools’ partners on the local level. Moreover, the adviser coordinates the deployment of the Reserve with the support of decentralized managing staff of the Department of National Education. Finally, the adviser is in charge of maintaining volunteers up-to-date with the académie policies on pupils’ education to Republic values as well as requests of schooling institutions.

Teachers and educational staffs who require the intervention of a reservist have to request it for a specific educational project they present to their superiors. Once selected, the reservist is led to exchange with pupils during school time as well as outside schools. Reservists are mainly asked to illustrate, through their own professional and life experiences, teachings and educational activities that are led by the educational staff, particularly in fields such as citizenship and secularism education, gender equality, fight against all kinds of discriminations, racism and anti-Semitism, media education and to bring schools and the professional sphere closer together.

Funding: Unknown

Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: In each académie, the “Citizen Reserve” adviser is tasked with monitoring of the reserve and the communication with the General Directorate in charge of pre-primary, primary and secondary education of the Department (national level). The adviser is also in charge of doing a yearly review ofhis académie Reserve.

References: The website for the Réserve Citoyenne de l’Éducation Nationale ; circular no. 2015-077 of May 12th, 2015.</p>

Égalité et citoyenneté : la République en actes ("Equality and citizenship: the Republic in action")

Timeframe: 2015 - 2017

Status: announced on March 6th, 2015

Responsible authorities: Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research

Reasons / Objectives: All these measures are part of a bigger strategy that includes multiple Departments and aims to reinforce equality and citizenship principles (Égalité et citoyenneté : la République en actes). The measures that aim education as a whole revolve around two main ideas. The first cluster of measures aims to improve the social mix inside schools (collèges in particular). And the second cluster seeks to tackle inequalities through schools, from pre-primary to higher education. Both clusters of measures go along with the Great Mobilisation of the school for the Republican values.

Measures adopted:

I. Improving social mix in schools

Most of these measures focus on the “carte scolaire” (schools' catchment area). First of all, the Department of National Education will create common catchment areas for a cluster of collèges when relevant, in order to foster the social mix of the students. A situational analysis on schools’ social mix will be done with the départements’ collaboration on the 2015-2016 academic year.

Because of the very specialized teachings dispensed in upper secondary education (lycées all have different educational offers, with specific tracks and specialisations), a policy aiming to improve the social mix has to be adapted. However, social mixing remains a priority. In the draft bill on the new territorial organisation of the Republic, article 12 bis AA modifies the article L214-5 of the French education code and stipulates that “catchment area of lycées are defined […] according to demographic, economic and social criteria and ensures social mix”.

The main tool to foster social mixing in schools is the “carte scolaire”, but it is common for families to use bypass-strategies in order to put their children in higher standing schools than the ones they are supposed to get into. The most common strategy is to use “rare teachings” (specific third foreign languages, artistic disciplines, engineering sciences, etc.) that very few institutions provide. To prevent such strategies from families, a trial will be launched in September 2015. Students will have to use digital (online or not) educational resources provided by the Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance (CNED – National Centre of Distance Learning) in order to follow these "rare teachings". This may be completed by on-site teachings if necessary.

Finally, a specific rank has been created for primary and secondary education teachers. It provides a better salary and is restricted to teachers that worked in high-need areas. This measure aims to incite teachers to work in difficult areas.

II. Tackle inequalities

The first measure to tackle inequalities is to ensure that at least 50% of the less than 3-years old get in pre-primary schools in high-need areas, as is it an effective and acknowledged manner to bolster pupils’ school success. Resources will be allocated to the construction and / or acquisition of buildings to avoid overpopulated classes. The objective of at least 50% of less than 3-years old in school in high-need areas is to be achieved in 2017.

The second measure is to tackle early school-leaving. This enters the frame of the Stratégie nationale de lutte contre le décrochage scolaire (National strategy to tackle early school-leaving) that was announced in November 2014. Many aspects are at stake when children leave school without any diploma and / or qualification: unemployment, poverty, social overcost and lack of fiscal income for the state…Each year, in France, 140 000 pupils leave the education system without any qualification. In such a context, the French President has set the goal of halving this figure by 2017. Strategies such as advertisement campaigns for the “legal right to get back into training” will be launched.

The Programme de Réussite Éducative (PRE – Educational success program) takes charge of vulnerable children from high-need areas in an individual manner from 2 to the end of collège (and sometimes beyond). Such plans already exist, but they will be extensively developed (in high-need areas) starting September 2015.

Finally, tackling inequalities will go through support for students during the transition between mandatory schooling and higher education. The rise of inequalities among students is even amplified by the generalisation of baccalauréat graduates. Starting September 2015, measures that aim to reduce social inequalities, self-censorship and social or gender discriminations will be progressively developed. These measures will be based on individual support of vulnerable students by teachers and other students, as well as digital resources and small groups’ assignments. All these measures will have to be followed with a monitoring of the students during their higher education career.

Funding: Information unavailable
 
Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: Information unavailable

References: Égalité et citoyenneté : la République en actes; Assemblée Nationale : Texte adopté n°482; French Education Code

La grande mobilisation de l’école pour les valeurs de la République ("Great mobilisation of schools for the Republican values")

Timeframe: starts during spring 2015

Status: announced on January 22nd, 2015

Reasons / objectives: French Schools reveal tensions and inequalities throughout French society. The deterioration of social ties during the past thirty years of economic crisis did not spare the school system. In a society that is losing its values, the French school system strives to fulfil its missions, to convey knowledge and to be the crucible for citizenship, as well as inspiring trust and confidence among pupils and their families. After the attacks that struck the heart of the French Republican values, engaging French people represents a requirement for French society as a whole, and more particularly for French schools, whose role and place among the French Republic are inseparable from its aptitude to develop and convey the principle of secularism.

Responsible authorities: Department for National Education, Higher Education and Research, Department for the City, Youth and Sports and the Justice’s Department.

Main measures adopted:

I. Putting secularism and the transmission of the French republic values of at the heart of the School mobilisation

  • An exceptional training program is going to be launched to help teachers and educational staff discuss citizenship-related questions, secularism and tackle racial prejudices with pupils.
  • Rules of civility and politeness have to be learned and respected in school. At the start of every academic year, pupils and their parents will be presented and taught of the Secularism Charter, and they will have to sign it to manifest their commitment to respect it. Behaviour questioning Republican Values or the teacher’s authority will be systematically reported to the school head.
  • Teachers’ authority restoration also goes through the understanding and celebration of republican rites: National Anthem, flag, motto. Secularism’s day will be celebrated in all schools and institutions on the 9th December.
  • The new moral and civic tuition will start as soon as September 2015 in all classes from primary school to 12th grade, and in all branches from the general, technological and vocational lycées. On the whole school career of a pupil, it represents about 300 dedicated hours. This teaching aims for the pupils to understand rules that govern individual and collective behaviours (discipline principle), to recognise plurality of opinions (liberties’ coexistence principle) and to build social and political ties (citizens’ community principle).
  • A teaching on Medias and information that includes and understands digital environment and uses issues. This has to train pupils to read and decrypt information and images, to sharpen their critical thinking and to forge their own opinion, essential skills to an enlightened and responsible citizenship in a democracy. A teaching for students to criticise, argue and debate as soon as in primary school. In the secondary school, all disciplines should be engaged to this end.

II. Developing citizenship and a culture of commitment with all school partners

  • A local committee for education to health and citizenship will be created, competent for primary and secondary schooling. This committee will associate the whole educative community and will have to develop local projects, schooling institutions projects in particular.
  • Meeting time with parents will be developed in each school and institution. The trusting relationship and mutual understanding between parents and schools is a major objective for students’ success. The “malette des parents” (“parents’ case”) initiative will be generalised.
  • A renewed partnership with locals authorities for the youth to succeed will be set in motion: include a State financed “Citizenship and Secularism” program in the Local Educational Project and in the Contrat de Ville (City’s contract for high need areas), develop boarding schools, particularly at collège level, and develop Programmes de Réussite Éducative (PRE - educational success programs) that proved successful in following and supporting individually young people across the country.
  • Ties with popular education will be enhanced. Ties with associations fighting racism will be redefined as well, in order to develop their educational actions on the specific challenges for peaceful coexistence.
  • A Citizen Reserve to support school and institutions, following the model of the Citizen Reserve of Defence, will be created in each académie. It will be comprised of people that are willing to help schools fulfil their republican mission, volunteers from partner associations and local delegates of the Department of National Education.

III. Addressing inequalities and promoting social diversity to strengthen the sense of belonging in the French Republic

  • A test with diagnostic objectives will be given to pupils at the start of the 3rd grade, to allow the teaching staff identifying hardships and needs of each child. Research will be put in use to enhance language acquisition starting as soon as the early childhood, in order to help all children attain a first reading mastery level at the end of 3rd grade. The Department of National Education will engage its scientific council to allow field agents getting results of research and experiments in France and abroad (particularly on the study of reading and reading comprehension).
  • Recteurs will be engage to deploy the “national strategy to tackle early school leaving” and to be on the front line with other State and regional services to set in motion the “legal right of return to training”. Human and financial resources will be deployed to this end. A communication campaign will be launched to reach out to young beneficiaries of “legal right of return to training”.
  • An active mixing policy to act on the pupils’ composition in collèges will be setup in the light of new legal provisions: a situational analysis regarding the social mix will be done during the 2015-2016 academic year, new recruitment areas will be defined in order to gather several schools when relevant.
  • Partnership with businesses and the economic sphere will be bolstered and valued.
  • Higher Education Institutions, in cooperation with the PEPITE network, will provide a formation and help for early school leavers (with or without a diploma) that wish to build their own firm.
  • Children in poverty situation will be accounted for in a reinforced manner. Social funds will be raised up to EUR 45M, in order to bring immediate financial answers to pupils’ most precarious situations.
  • Risks of closing-up attitudes among younger people, that may represent a danger for themselves as well as the collective, will be better spotted. School heads will receive a reinforced training to detect early signs of closing-up and radicalisation attitudes. Home-schooling will be tightly controlled, including educational staff with the traditional inspection staff.
  • There will be a specific engagement towards education for youngsters that committed offenses and are under justice control. Training courses offer, exams preparations and fundamental skill acquisition classes for underage inmates will be developed (secondary and higher education).

IV. Engaging Higher education and Research

  • Value and gather research (done and ongoing) to enlighten the public debate on the question of radicalisation, as well as request the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR – National Research Agency) to reinforce its back up to research on causes of radicalization in modern societies.
  • At the European level, angle research funds to such topic, by fostering European researchers networks.
  • Value vocational and technological courses from lycée to master’s degree, creating alternative pathways and encouraging student mobility with the Erasmus+ program.
  • Provide a better training for higher education teachers to the challenges of secularism, fight against discriminations, racism and anti-Semitism.
  • Reinforce social ties in the living and working space: develop support to student initiatives in artistic or sports fields that aim to fight against discriminations and promote peaceful coexistence, encourage credits recognition of acquired skills by students during citizen engagements, and develop social ties between universities and their direct environment, particularly when it is a high-need area.

Between February 9th and April 24th 2015, 1 325 open meetings (to which more than 80 000 people did participate) were held across the country in order for the parents, citizens, associations, school partners, state representatives to discuss modalities of the mobilization for the values of the French Republic. The report of these meetings was presented by French Education Minister on May 12th, 2015. During these events, 10 proposals or recommendations emerged either develop or go alongside 11 measures that were announced on January 22nd 2015:</p>

  1. Develop the mutual understanding of schools and their partners through structured exchange timeframes or common trainings;
  2. Facilitate communication by letting the school system be easier to understand for its partners, and by strengthening coordination through adapted networks;
  3. Develop the relationship with pupils’ parents, through the diversification of the communication means (for instance, setting informal talks and convivial spaces) to let all parents commit in their child’s school;
  4. Share a common definition of the values of the Republic and links between citizenship and secularism with reference documents (such as the Secularism Charter), based on shared considerations and research works;
  5. Strengthen and structure shared work around citizenship and secularism values through rallying all schools’ partners around the Local Educational Projects, Cities Contracts (cities/state contracts for high-need areas) and the introduction of the Citizen Course;
  6. On the basis of a shared territorial diagnostic, try to develop social mix inside schools through different ways, such as: redefinition of school sectors, changes in facultative and/or language options in schools, develop social mix in the classes, etc.;
  7. Develop students’ involvement in their school life in primary and secondary education, with the help of dedicated bodies (students’ councils, school-life councils in collèges and lycées, etc.) in order to turn institutions into real democracy-learning assets;
  8. Recognize through the new Citizen Course students’ involvement outside school time (associations, etc.), and dedicate timeframes during school time to foster students’ initiatives related to peaceful coexistence that may be supported by educational staff and schools’ partners, especially non-profit organizations;
  9. Through introduction of the Citizen Reserve of the Department of National Education, higher Education and Research, develop partnerships between schools, their partners and the community;
  10. Foster initiative and entrepreneurship mind sets among pupils inside and outside schools through strengthened ties with the economic sphere and the introduction of Informative, Orienting and Discovering Tour of Economic and Professional Spheres.

Funding: Information unavailable

Evaluation mechanisms and monitoring: Information unavailable

References: Grande mobilisation de l’École pour les valeurs de la République ; Synthèse de la restitution des assises

2014