When compulsory education in French schools no longer seems quite so compulsory

France — Opinion

Ministers have made it clear that some schools may have to close in the mornings this winter if France undergoes selective power cuts to cope with energy demand. Coming three years after the first Covid lockdowns, when schools were systematically closed, this policy once again raises questions over the priority being given to ensuring that France's schools remain open and that pupils keep learning. In this op-ed article, Mediapart's education correspondent Mathilde Goanec argues that the universal principle of compulsory education for all is now coming under constant attack.

French teachers denounce ‘infernal’ conditions in schools amid pandemic


French school teachers and education staff held a crippling strike and nationwide protest marches last Thursday over what they say are chaotic and unsafe working conditions brought about by ever-changing, last-minute anti-Covid measures imposed without consultation by the education ministry, and which they too often learn about from the media. Mathilde Goanec has been hearing from teachers and local councils about their nigh impossible mission amid the government’s determination to keep schools open.

French teachers stage massive strike over Covid measures chaos

France — Link

French teachers and other education workers staged a nationwide strike on Thursday, accompanied by street marches whih official figures said drew a turnout of 78,000, in protest at what they say are the government's too demanding and regularly changing anti-Covid measures to keep schools open. 

France to close nightclubs, extend use of face masks in schools

France — Link

Prime minister Jean Castex also urged businesses to encourage working from home and called on people to 'lift the pedal' on social interactions such as office parties as the year-end holidays approach.

France reopens schools as virus patients numbers peak

France — Link

Nursery and primary schools have reopened across France after a three-week closure in the first step out of the country’s partial lockdown.

French schools to close as Macron announces wider Covid restrictions

France — Link

French president said in TV address that 'we will lose control if we do not move now', adding that France faces a 'race against the clock'.

The French teachers living in 'daily fear' as number of Covid cases in schools grows

France — Report

There has been exponential growth in the number of Covid-19 cases in French schools, both among pupils and staff, and some teaching personnel have become seriously ill as a result. Though the education minister has just announced a further toughening of the health protocols to tackle the virus in schools, some teachers fear the ministry is still “in denial” over the scale of the problem they are facing. One teaching union is now calling on members to take strike action. Ismaël Bine and Caroline Coq-Chodorge report.

French schools reopen in nervous return to classrooms

France — Link

Pupils returned to schools across France on Tuesday at the start of the new academic year amid strict measures to contain transmission of the novel coronavirus, while teacher unions and medics have questioned the adequacy of the plans and recorded virus infections are showing a steep increase.

Adults in all French schools required to wear masks

France — Link

French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has announced that every adult in all types of French schools, which are due to reopen at the beginning of September, must wear a face mask to limit transmission of the coronavirus, overturning an earlier decision to exempt teachers at primary schools from the requirement.

Paris region mayors call for delay to re-opening of schools

France — Link

The mayor of Paris and her colleagues from towns around the capital have called upon the French government to delay the re-opening of schools, planned to begin gradually with the lifting of lockdown measures planned for May 11th, because of the lack of practical and legal preparedness for the return of classes.

Coronavirus: France mandates masks for schools and transport

France — Link

Pupils aged 11-15 will be expected to wear face masks and ttores will have the right to ask shoppers to wear masks, and should ensure they remain a metre apart.

France to close schools in worst virus areas for 15 days

France — Link

PM Édouard Philippe stopped short during a press briefing of raising the emergency response to the virus to “Phase 3”, the highest there is, but suggested it was only matter of time before the government would do so.

Schools in France to display flags in classrooms

France — Link

The move - effective from the start of the school year on Monday - was approved as part of educational reforms recently passed by Parliament.

Paris plan to convert all schoolyards into green cool spots

France — Link

Paris City Hall's 'Project Oasis' is a programme to transform by 2040 all of about 800 concrete schoolyards of the capital into cool spots for respite in periods of extreme heat, and perhaps even bring down temperatures across a city with the lowest proportion of green spaces of any European city.

France bans use of mobile phones by pupils at school

France — Link

French parliament on Thursday voted in favour of the introduction of a law prohibiting the use of mobile phones by children at state schools, extending and reinforcing a ban on mobile phones already applied by about half of France's almost 60,000 educational establishments.