FRANCE: the new school reform will start in September 2016

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The French minister of national education, Najat Vallaud Belkacem formalizes today her new law project to improve the social diversity and attempt to mix students from different social backgrounds. 

According to a study carried out by two researchers of the School of Economics of Paris, the social  segregation is dangerous for learning of the pupils who have the most in difficulties. For this reason, Najat Vallaud Belkacem created a reform to reinforce “social diversity”.

From September 2016, new tools will experiment in 30 to 50 secondary schools, out of 7.100 schools in 17 or 20 French departments.

The change 

Before the reform, the French pupils don’t choose their secondary schools. In fact, it is defined according to their place of residence. From the concerning aera, this model will change in September 2016: the parents will be able to classify their school in order of preference. If the capacity of adaptation doesn’t allow the answer to the first choice, the affectation will be decided by the department according to the criteria decided by the parents.

Among these criteria, defined by the public reunion between the department and the students’ parents, there are: scholarship holders (or likely to be, from the social criterion), distance between the place of residence and the school, teaching the school proposes (options, timetables…), relationship between different students…. Two criteria remain a priority: handicapped students and receivers of medical treatment close to their secondary school.

The education specialists will be very attentive to this new reform, and the first results will be evaluated a few months later.

Guillaume Lechat,



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