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VIDEO. Instruction from the age of three, respect for the teachers … The measures of the first school law of the five-year term Macron

Jean-Michel Blanquer at the National Assembly, February 5, 2019. – AFP

Compulsory instruction from 3 years, recasting of the evaluation, expanded role of the supervisors … The Assembly examines from Monday the first major text on
the five-year Macron school, which tenses the unions and feeds critics of oppositions.

This bill "for a school of trust", carried by Jean-Michel Blanquer, intends to answer two issues: "raise the general level of students" and promote "social justice". It is necessary "to initiate a virtuous circle of trust in the education system, but also in society through the school," argues the Minister of Education, which defends its first major piece of legislation. Here are his main provisions.

Instruction from 3 years

The age of compulsory education will be lowered to three years from six today. At the beginning of the next school year, however, this will only concern 26,000 children not currently attending school. 98.9% of children aged 3 to 5 are already in school, according to the ministry's impact study.

This new obligation of three years will not affect the right to provide education by the family but its control will be strengthened. In addition, the measure will generate additional expenses for the municipalities that will have to finance private kindergartens under contract. The State will reimburse these communities through compensation.

Duty of exemplarity

The bill recalls the duty of "exemplary" staff and in return the necessary "respect" of students and their families vis-à-vis them and the school. Teachers who saw a desire to reduce their freedom of expression, which denied the Minister of Education, saying he did not want to "touch anything in the duty of reserve."

Reinforced role of supervisors

Educational assistants may be entrusted with teaching duties provided that they prepare for the recruitment competitions in their second year of a degree. Objective: "to make the job of teaching more attractive". This measure worries unions and some left-wing MPs who fear that "pawns" will replace absent teachers.

Overhaul of teacher training

The higher schools of teaching and education (Espé) will become national higher institutes of professorship and education (Inspé). The content of the trainings – hourly volume of the disciplines, balance theory / internships and place of the competition – will be specified later by the ministry.

The directors of these institutes will be appointed by joint order of the Ministers of Education and Higher Education. So far, this appointment was made on the proposal of the council of L'Espé. Snes-FSU, the first union in secondary education, denounced a "takeover by the Ministry of teacher training".

Evaluation Agency

The School Assessment Board will replace Cnesco (School System Evaluation Council), which will be chaired by CNAM. Created under the previous five years to evaluate the French school system, Cnesco often relies on examples from abroad and produced a large number of studies (school dropout and mix, repetition …). The government wants to strengthen the evaluation capacity of the ministry following recommendations from the Court of Auditors. Unions criticized the "lack of independence" of the new organization, pointing to its composition. Out of 14 members, 10 will be representatives of the Minister or chosen by him.

New international schools

On the model of the European School of Strasbourg, the local public institutions of international education (EPLEI) will welcome pupils from kindergarten to the final year, to prepare them for the European baccalaureate or the international option of the national diploma of the patent and Tray. Funding may come from the European Union, other international organizations, donations and legacies. While unions denounced "schools for privileged backgrounds," the deputies entrusted the rector to ensure social diversity in the allocation of students.

Educational Experiments

Public and private schools may derogate from the Code of Education for "educational experiments", limited in time. Topics such as the organization of the classroom or school, the use of digital tools or the distribution of teaching hours over the year are mentioned.

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