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

By

Seventeen critical education reports languished unpublished under the last year of Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency.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.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

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.