End of era as French go back to basics

14th January 2005 at 00:00

The education minister Francois Fillon has called time on 15 years of "child-centred" education in France as he unveiled reforms that aim to provide "a common base of skills" for all children.

The first measures in Mr Fillon's landmark 14-point Bill reshaping the schools system, which he presented to the cabinet on Wednesday, come into force in September.

But although the new laws were drafted after a vast public consultation, there is already some opposition, notably to the minister's plans to remodel the school-leaving exam, the baccalaureat, introducing continuous assessment for some subjects.

President Jacques Chirac promised to reform the school system in his 2002 re-election campaign. A subsequent consultation and inquiry in 2003 pointed to a demand for pupils to master basic skills from an early age (TES, November 5, 2004).

The reforms aim to reduce failure, ensure all pupils get at least a minimum qualification and raise the percentage completing higher education from 35 per cent today to 50 per cent by 2015.

All pupils will have to master a common base of French, maths, computer techniques and a foreign language, plus a "basic understanding" of the environment and citizenship.

There will be regular assessments throughout school; improved remedial support where needed; more vocational learning; and, to counter school violence, more special classes for disruptive pupils.

The Bill also contains plans to reform teacher training. Teacher- training colleges will be integrated with universities, and the trainers will need experience of university or classroom teaching - not always now the case.


Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now