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FRENCH EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM The French educational system is highly centralized and organized.

It is divided into three stages:

 Primary education  Secondary education  Higher education

 THE ROLE OF THE STATE

The ministry of education :

 Determines the curriculum  Determines the teaching methods  Determines the status and functioning of every school  Recruits, trains, appoints and manages the school staff  Organizes the national exams “baccalaureat” A-Levels- a passport to higher education

Since the 1980s the State has devolved his role to the local authorities in the management of the local school system. The “recteur” is the ministry representative at local level, within académies (30 local authorities in all the territory


GENERAL PRINCIPLES  ACADEMIC FREEDOM

State schools Private schools

 FREE PROVISION  NEUTRALITY  SECULARISM ( Laïcité)  COMPULSARY EDUCATION (6 – 16 years old)  COMMON CORE OF KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS


The structure of school system

System

Schools

Nursery school 3 – 6 years old

PRIMARY

Elementary school 6 – 11 years old

Lower secondary (collège) 11 – 15 years old

SECONDARY

Classes

-

PS MS GS CP CE1 CE2 CM1 CM2

-

6ème 5ème 4ème 3ème

First exam « Brevet des collèges »

Upper secondary (lycée) 15 – 18 years old

Général, technological & vocational routes: - Seconde - Première - Terminale

Final exam « Baccalaureat »

HIGHER EDUCATION

-

Short-term post baccalaureat studies (BTS / DUT) University Higher schools


Lower secondary school « Collège »  From 11 to 15 (4 grades)  A unique system for all pupils (collège unique) with a national curriculum  Weekly timetable: 28 to 30 hours  Subjects taught: French, mathematics, history and geography, civic education, life and earth sciences, technology, art, musical education, physical education, physics and chemistry, two modern languages  A final exam (« Brevet des collèges ») with no real consequences on further studies


 From 16 to 18 (3 grades)

High secondary school « Lycée »

 Weekly timetable : 30 hours

THREE DISTINCT ROUTES  General route: 3 options  L for literary (French, philpsophy and Modern languages)  ES for economics and social sciences  S for sciences (mathematics, physics and natural sciences)

 Technological route: Many studies:

Management Sciences and Technologies, STG

Laboratory Science and Technologies, STL Health and Social Sciences SMS Hotel and restaurants management

 Vocational route: mainly tertiary (office management, accounts, trade, hairdressing….), industrial, craft industry,and medical & social sciences.


 The vocational route allows pupils to gain vocational skills as well as knowledge and know-how in a given field.

 In the lycée professionnel, pupils attend “seconde” to prepare for a baccalauréat professionnel over three years or a short path over two years , the certificat d’aptitude professionnelle (CAP).

These studies mix theoretical and vocational training. Nowadays, many pupils follow these ones because they do not want to go on long studies and few of them actually go to university.

 At the end of the last year, pupils sit the baccalauréat exam. The first higher education diploma which opens doors for universities or higher schools.


University

Active life

Technological Baccalauréat

General Baccalauréat

3rd year general studies

2nd year general studies

3rd year technological studies

2nd year technological studies

First year general & technological studies

Vocational Baccalaureat

3rd year BEP ou CAP Intermediate diploma

Certificat d’aptitude professionnelle

2nd year

2nd year CAP

First year

1st year CAP

General and technological route

Vocational route

After the lower secondary school « collège »


French secondary school timetable Schooling weeks / year Schhooling days / year

36 weeks 180 days (given public holidays)

Summer break

8 to 9 weeks

Short breaks

Autumn (2 weeks) Christmas (2 weeks) Winter (2 weeks) Spring (2 weeks)

Weekly schooling

4,5 days

Weekly timetable

30 hours

Number of students / class

24.7 students per class on average in the lower secondary school 19.2 students per class on average in the professional sections 29.7 students per class on average in the second general and technological sections


TEACHERS Status

State civil servants

Recruitment

Competitive exam for teaching: - CAPES (the certificate of aptitude in secondary teaching) - CAPEPS (the certificate of aptitude in physical and sporting -

education teaching) CAPLP (the certificate of aptitude of vocational teaching) AGREGATION (more selective than the CAPES)

Career

Promotion by seniority and level No compulsory professional dévelopment

Advancement

Competition for staff management

Working time

18 hours in front of students (Ongoing reform: annualization of working time) (35 – 40 hours estimed for

Holidays

14 - 16 weeks

Salary

Starting salary: 1600 € Average salary: 2500 € / month


KEY FIGURES (2013) Titles

Key figures

Students

12 213 300 Primary school Secondary school

6 753 800 5 459 500

Teachers

841 700 Secondary school

381 900

Diplomas

84.5% success rate in the national certificate (Brevet des collèges) 86.8% success rate in baccalaureat

Education expenditure

8,370 € per pupil in lower secondary school 11,470 € per student n high school (general and technological) 11,840 € per student in vocational school

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