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French expand state boarding schools

FRANCE: Education minister Jack Lang has announced a five-year plan to expand state boarding schools in response to demand, particularly from poorer parents.

At least one new state boarding school will be opened in each of the country's 100 departments (regional authorities).

About 180,000 secondary pupils - 4 per cent of the total - board in tate schools, most of whom are at lycee (upper secondary). Parents pay 6,000 to 8,000 francs (pound;600 to pound;800) a year, compared to 30,000 francs at a private Catholic school. Mr Lang was careful to emphasise that the schools would be "public boarding schools in the widest sense" and not just for teenagers with family difficulties. Jane Marshall.

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