Education

The posh Paris school serving the elite with tax breaks

France — Investigation

The Ecole Bilingue Active Jeannine-Manuel is a semi-private Paris school specialised in teaching in both French and English, where its 2,200 pupils are offered a complete lower education cycle from age 3 to 18. It has become the school of choice for parents among the capital’s political, business and showbiz elite, as well as others from the expat community, and boasts exceptional educational standards and means that provide a 100% pass rate for the school-leaving Baccalauréat exam. But, as Lucie Delaporte reports, a significant part of the funding of this high-performing school for the offspring of the rich and famous is met through a generous system of tax breaks.

Hollande education reform includes homework ban

France — Link

President Hollande's sweeping package of reform to France's school system includes a ban on homework and lowering the daily hours pupils work.

OECD study sounds alarm over French school drop outs

International

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) this week published its annual study of results and trends of its member states’ educational systems. 'Education at a glance 2012' contains a number of findings that underline structural failings in the French education system, notably the fall in the numbers of 15-19 year-olds enrolled in full-time schooling and which the OECD described as “preoccupying”. The study provided added urgency to the French government’s ongoing series of nationwide consultative talks aimed at defining “the school of tomorrow”, ahead of sweeping reforms due to be put before parliament later this autumn. Lucie Delaporte reports.

Hollande education jobs drive finds too few candidates

France

When, during his presidential election campaign, François Hollande promised the creation of 60,000 jobs in the education sector, he was met with applause and criticism in equal measure. But now, implementation of the plan has met with an obstacle which few had foreseen; there are simply not enough candidates. It reflects a wider and enduring problem of a shortage of teaching staff that threatens to reach a crisis point in many schools, beginning in September. Lucie Delaporte reports.

French schools' study tackles discrimination taboo

France

The French Republican mantra of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité has arguably cast a veil over prejudice and discrimination in some of the country’s institutions because of a widespread belief that if equality has been decreed, it must exist. But now, an unusual grass-roots study is being run in five schools in the city of Grenoble, southern France, to investigate evidence that children from families of non-French ethnic origin are, against their will, guided to a future professional life that offers fewer opportunities than for others. Lucie Delaporte reports on a taboo subject that has divided experts and evaded proper public debate.  

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

France — Investigation

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.