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France:Quality Assurance

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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 assessment of the education system is a collection of processes that can be split into two broad categories:

  • On the one hand, those processes consist of a number of assessments that cover the system as a whole or one or more of its aspects. The assessments are done by different stakeholders with varying frequency.
  • On the other hand, there is an annual arrangement for assessing the system with the help of relatively stable indicators; it is done with a view to budget management, and it calls upon a small number of stakeholders.

The most long-standing assessment practices come under the first category, whilst the second category is more recent. The latter category was inaugurated on 1 August 2001 by the LOLF – the Organic Law on Finance Laws, which has been in force since 1 January 2006.

It is important to note that those various assessment tools are not incorporated into a general, consistent assessment framework used to improve practices. The assessment culture is a recent one, contrary to practices covering checks and certification.

Assessing primary and secondary schools (ISCED 0 to 3) is compulsory in France. It falls under the purview of inspectorates, authorities at académique level, and head teachers, who must also carry out self-assessments and draw up a progress report on actions put in place in their schools. Each school is subject to compulsory dual contractual arrangements (“projet d’établissement” (school charter) and “contrat d’objectifs” (performance agreement)) covered by an annual progress report that is sent to the authorities at académique level. Furthermore, there are indicators to help with the diagnosis, steering, assessment, and monitoring of schools. Those indicators are drawn up by the Ministry of National Education (and, in particular, the following directorates: DGESCO (Direction Générale de l’Enseignement Scolaire – Directorate General of School Education) and DEPP (Direction de l’Évaluation, de la Prospective, et de la Performance – Directorate for Assessment, Forecasting, and Performance).

Teachers undergo an assessment of their practices at the end of the professionalisation placement (i.e. the first year of work after having passed the entrance test) and during their careers. inspectorates and head teachers take care of the educational and administrative appraisals and grading, respectively, of secondary-school teachers (ISCED 2 and 3), with a direct impact on career progression. Those assessments analyse the quality of teaching, whether the teaching given complies with programmes and regulations, as well as teachers’ assiduity and punctuality. Designed more as activity monitoring, inspections and administrative appraisals / grading scarcely place teachers’ work in the context of the school and of the educational team. Advice and lifelong training aimed at teachers seem to play a secondary role. Self-assessment and peer review of teachers are almost non-existent. Finally, the results of assessments are not exploited in steering the education system.

Assessing students’ achievements lies at the heart of the operation, steering, and assessment of the French education system and its various levels (académies, départements, constituencies, and schools). To that end, several types of assessments co-exist, depending on the objectives that have been assigned to them. Continuous assessment, which is at once formative and summative, follows students all along their school careers. It enables teachers to measure the progress of apprenticeships, and, where appropriate, to put in place remedial arrangements for students in difficulty. National assessments leading to qualifications attest to the acquisition of a level of knowledge and skills that enable students to move up to the next educational level or to enter active life. Finally, external assessments (designed by the DGESCO and DEPP directorates of the Ministry of National Education) are most often sample-based. They enable a measuring of the effectiveness of education policies put in place by the central administration, as well as of the progress of students’ achievements.