Shelved report reveals true picture of France's 'schools of excellence'


Seventeen critical education reports languished unpublished under the last year of Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency. Among them is a damning indictment of one of the former president's flagship policies – the creation of so-called schools of excellence. The aim was to take pupils from deprived backgrounds and give them a top-class education in a boarding school environment. But as Lucie Delaporte reveals, this report written in June 2011 calls into question the very existence of these expensive schools.

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They were supposed to be one of the key education achievements of Nicolas Sarkozy's term in office as president. Announced in 2008, the first so-called internat d'excellence or boarding school of excellence was launched in 2009, with 12 more set up in 2010 and a similar number the following year.