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France:Teachers and Education Staff

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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

Teachers at all levels of education in the public sector (from pre-primary to higher) belong to the State civil service. Teachers in the private sector under contract are recruited by the institutions themselves, but are nonetheless paid by the State in the same way as teachers in the public sector. 

Since the reform of initial teacher training implemented in 2013, to be recruited, teachers of pre-primary, primary and secondary education must go through a competitive examination in the end first year of master Métiers de l’Enseignement, de l’Éducation et de la Formation (MEEF – Teaching, Education and Training Professions). The passing students of one competitive examination become "teacher trainee" and split their training, during their second year of master, 50 % in initial training and 50 % in front of students..

In higher education, the conditions of access to teaching duties vary between different categories of staff. Teachers-researchers are recruited by national competition or opened by establishment; they must prove a doctoral degree or equivalent, and have obtained the "qualification" by the National Council of Universities, that is to say an empowerment at national level to apply for any job open to recruitment.
Each competitive examination corresponds to a level of education and/or different service conditions. Success in competition guarantees access to the corresponding teaching position. In 2014-2015, there were 690 009 classroom teachers working in the public school system (ISCED 0-3) and 70 435 permanent teachers working in the higher education system.

A minority of teachers (0.5% at primary level, 6.7% at the secondary level, 0.5% at the top) did not go through the competitive exam; they are contractual teachers. They are recruited on specific missions, such as to make short replacements of tenured teachers. In 2014-2015, the number of contractual teachers in the public service was 27,837.

Regarding teachers working in the "under contract" private sector  (representing 97% of pupils in private education in France in 2014), they do not belong to the body of the civil service of the state. Yet they perform a "public service mission", which implies that to enter the profession, they must go, such as public teachers, a national competition defined by the State. In the private sector under contract, the success in the competition does not guarantee access to the teaching position but the rights to apply for a job open to recruitment by a private institution under contract - which is responsible for recruiting teachers. However, it is the State which is in charge of their remuneration, as public teachers.

Service and working time bonds are fixed. For primary school teachers, these obligations are defined in decree no. 2008-775 of July 30th, 2008: this text requires teachers teaching 24 hours weekly to all students plus 108 annual hours allocated to of other activities (personalized help in small group work in teaching teams, animation and teacher training and school councils). Since the beginning of September 2015, the duration of compulsory teaching time is given by decree no. 2014-240 of August 20th, 2014. It is set at 18 hours for certified teachers and 15 hours for agrégés teachers. For Sports and Physical Education teachers, regardless of the body to which they are attached, add two hours to these totals.

The teacher training is organized locally by the académies, which each year develop - in cooperation with universities - an "Academic Training Plan" (FAP). It contains the list of programs and continuing education activities, which interested teachers can register to. In its proposals, the academies should consider training priorities set at national level by the Department of National Education, Higher Education and Research in the "National Education Plan". The Écoles Supérieures du Professorat et de l’Éducation (ESPE - Higher Schools for Professorship and Education), established in 2013, became one of the operators of the continuing training of education personnel 

Recent policy developments 

After the reform of the master requirement (Official Bulletin no. 29 of July 22, 2010), which raised the level of academic qualification required for initial recruitment of teachers in primary and secondary (from bachelor’s degree to master’s), a new reform of initial and on-going teacher training and other education personnel was launched. One of the main objectives is to strengthen the professional component of their training. To this end, the law no. 2013-595 of July 8th, 2013 introduces Écoles Supérieures du Professorat et de l’Éducation (ESPE - Higher Schools for Professorship and Education) in universities.
The main new aspects to be introduced by the reform are: 

  • set up, by Écoles Supérieures du Professorat et de l’Éducation (ESPE - Higher Schools for Professorship and Education), of new masters Métiers de l’Enseignement, de l’Éducation et de la Formation (MEEF –Teaching, Education and Training Professions) based on a balance between theoretical learning and placements in schools or institutions. The weight given to the latter prior to the reform was not considered sufficient for guaranteeing sound conditions for joining the profession.  The MEEF must also give precedence to research as well as the promotion of innovative teaching practices;
  • set up of a single centre (ESPEs) responsible for the initial and further training of all education staff (teachers at all educational levels and other education staff). This reflects the Government's desire to encourage and foster cooperation between the different professional categories of teachers and other education staff;
  • competitive examinations for the recruitment of teachers have also been renovated: they should now enable better evaluation of both candidates' theoretical knowledge and their degree of readiness for specifically carrying out the profession. What's more, these exams will now be held at the end of the first master's year (rather than the end of the second year), which will restore to successful candidates the status of trainee-civil servant from which they benefited before the 2010 reform, and they will therefore be remunerated during their final year of training. This final year provides for a combination of theoretical learning and placements in classrooms. 

Furthermore, decree no. 2013-50 of January 15th, 2013 regarding Future Jobs contracts – Teacher represents an arrangement for social promotion and for helping with professional insertion into teaching professions. Specifically, the arrangement aims at attracting more students from modest backgrounds to teaching professions. By offering them a gradual entry into teaching with a career plan and a work-related pathway, as well as financial assistance, those newly-created jobs enable students to deal with the lengthening of the course due to reform of the master’s pathway. The arrangement also aims at boosting the attractiveness of some sectors (German, the classics, and mathematics), and of certain academies, where the number of applicants seems insufficient with regard to recruitment needs.