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Gendarmes keep peace

FRANCE

Every French secondary school is to have its own local police "correspondent" who will keep in regular touch with the headteacher and step up school surveillance.

The measure was agreed by ministers last week after new figures showed a 12.3 per cent rise in serious violent incidents in schools in the year to June 2004.

It is hoped regular contact between the head and a named police officer will help anticipate and defuse tensions and potential violence between pupils.

But the FSU, the majority federation of education unions, said that the government was cutting by 30,000 over three years the numbers of education assistants who helped keep order in schools.

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