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France:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

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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

France is a semi-presidential republic. The President of the Republic is elected for five years by direct universal suffrage. He appoints the Prime Minister, the head of the government, who is responsible before Parliament. Definition and implementation of educational policy fall within the competence of the Executive Power. The Constitution of 1958, founding text of the 5th French Republic, lays down that, with regard to education, only its basic principles and the broad outlines of educational policy fall within the domain of the law (Parliament). Three major guidance laws have been voted in by Parliament over the last twenty years (law no. 89-486 of 10 July 1989 ; law no. 2005-380 of 23 April 2005 and law no. 2013 - 595 of 8 July 2013), setting the major principles and objectives of the education system, among which are success for all pupils, equal opportunities, professional integration of young people, and sharing of the Republic’s values.

Traditionally, France is a centralised Nation-State. For administrative purposes, it is divided up into 22 regions, 101 départements (96 metropolitan and 5 overseas) and over 36,000 municipalities. Since the 1980s, local authorities (regional, départemental, and municipal) have had responsibilities in ensuring implementation of national policies, in particular with regard to vocational training and management of school premises.

With enactment of the law of 27 January 2014 bearing on modernisation of territorial public action and affirmation of metropolitan areas, the government showed itself ready to revise France’s territorial architecture with a view to simplifying competences shared by municipalities, intermunicipal groupings, départements and regions – a major reform seeking to reduce operating costs and enable better account to be taken of citizens’ needs. Today, the proposed reform, the first component of which was adopted by the National Assembly on 23 juillet 2014, provides for the merger of a number of regions and elimination of the départemental level. Regions’ and intermunicipal groupings’ competences will be widened, some being transferred to them from départements. As a result, French regions will be of comparable size to other European regions and will be able to draw up territorial strategies for setting policy on training and employment, taking responsibility in the organisation of school transport, and managing lycées and collèges.

France (metropolitan and overseas combined) covers 670,992 Km². Its population, which stood at around 65, 821 million in 2014, has been increasing slightly over the last several years (INSEE, temporary data of 1st of January 2014). In 2012, the education system provided schooling for 15,3 million pupils, apprentices and students (Source: RERS 2014). The country’s official language is French, including within the education system; the 11 regional languages in use in some parts of France are optional subjects at all educational levels. France is a secular Republic and religion plays no part in the education dispensed in state schools, except in the Alsace region and the neighbouring département of Moselle, where local law accords it special status.

The French economy is mainly a service economy, with around 77% of the active population employed in the tertiary sector. The unemployment rate stood at 9.8% in the second quarter of 2014, while the GDP remained stable and purchasing power increased (+0.5%) (INSEE, 2014). The average annual growth rate of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at + 0.3% in the fourth trimester 2013. Expenditure on education over the same year was to the tune of 144.8 billion euros, 6.8% of the GDP (Source : L'éducation nationale en chiffres, 2014).