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France:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

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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

The French Education System

Structure système éducatif.gif



Compulsory education

Education is compulsory and free from the age of 6 to the age of 16; it includes five years of primary education (at elementary school) plus five years of secondary education: four years at collège (lower secondary education) then one year at lycée (upper secondary education).
Pupils can then continue their education through to the last year of lycée and go onto higher education. Access to higher education is conditioned by passing a State examination, resulting in a national diploma, the baccalauréat.


Primary education

Primary, or first degree, education comprises:


  • pre-primary education (nursery school), which is optional and free. It is for all children aged 3 to 6 years. 2-year-olds can also be admitted if places are available. Although optional, nursery school, which receives almost 100% of children from the age of 3, is now part of children's normal schooling;
  • primary education (elementary school), which is compulsory and free, for 6 to 11 year olds. Children go on automatically to secondary education. There are no admission exams.


Secondary education

Secondary, or second degree, education comprises:

  • lower secondary education (collège), which is compulsory and free, for 11 to 15 year olds. At the end of the last year ("classe de troisième" or 3rd year), a national diploma is issued, the brevet, which assesses knowledge and skills acquired at collège. Pupils are not required to pass the examination successfully to go on to lycée as the first year of lycée ("classe de seconde" or 2nd year) is part of the compulsory education cycle.
  • upper secondary education (lycée), which is free, for 15 to 18 year olds. After collège, pupils can continue their education in a general and technological lycée or a professional lycée. The general curriculum prepares pupils to take the general baccalauréat and continue long studies in higher education. The technological curriculum prepares pupils for the technological baccalauréat and higher technological studies. The professional curriculum offers concrete education, in close liaison with business and professions. Pupils at a professional lycée prepare a Certificate d'Aptitude Professionnel (CAP) in two years or professional baccalauréat in three years.


Higher education

Since 2002, the higher education cycle has been structured into 3 years of Licence (Bachelor's degree), 2 years of Master (Master's degree) and 3 years of Doctorat (Doctorate), following the European diploma structure. In France, higher education is dispensed by 4 types of institution: universities, "classes preparing for admission to the Grandes Ecoles" (classes préparatoires aux Grandes écoles), elites schools or Grandes Ecoles, Higher Technical Sections (Sections de Techniciens Supérieurs).


Adult education

The adult education system was set up in the early 1970s and involves several players: State, regions, companies and social partners. It is characterised by an original structure leaving room for collective negotiation and comprising admission conditions that vary depending on individuals' status (job seekers, employed persons) and their age (under 26, between 26 and 45, over 45).