Some help is at hand for those parents on modest incomes…
Oh I am in a grumpy mood today, must be the heat! There are several families in our village who get this, and we know they do because each year around this time they splurge on something totally unnecessary, usually a pedigree puppy who soon becomes less charming and is consigned to an enclosed area in the garden before being got rid of a year later because it is unmanageable.
I’m sure some children benefit hugely on things useful for their schooling, but a lot of families just treat it as casual spending money.
There has been an idea put forward that the “aid” comes in some form of voucher which can only be redeemed for school books/items etc… useable at all the big supermarket chains… who often have special offers anyway around this time of year to attract the parents…
I suppose it’s much like child-benefit in UK… not all the kids get the benefit, often it will be the parents who enjoy the money…
Well as a single parent of 5 children all at school at once, with an ex-husband who made no contribution I was jolly grateful for it.
Having a full-time job doesn’t make the rentrée that much easier if you have to buy sports kit, T-90 calculators etc, all consumables eg exercise books, pens pencils etc etc to school specifications. I bulk bought and then had a ‘stationery cupboard’ for replacing stuff throughout the year.
It is in any case given only to families who are boursiers, the bourses themselves are paid directly to school who deduct the canteen from’them and give parents what is left.
There also used to be significant ‘bourses au mérite’ for boursier children with excellent school results, on top of the means-related bourses. I was very grateful for those as well.
Not knocking it or you Vero… just discussing… along similar lines to the folk on the Sud-Ouest website who have posted their “commentaires”
I think it’s a great idea to help families that need it and put it to good use, I just feel there may not be enough oversight on making sure it all goes on the kids’ schooling. After all the french system is admirable in terms of the importance of education.
Many of the people who moan about the alloc rentrée (and other allocs familiales) etc have no children, or had them many years ago, they or their children left school at 14 or so so have no idea of the costs of lycée.
They tend to be the same people who think teachers do nothing, everyone is a cheat and a thief, a woman’s place is in the wrong, everything is the fault of ‘the arabs’ and that learning foreign languages is unnecessary, foreigners should learn French etc etc.
And some people get and misuse the ARS, just as they misuse whatever they get. At least they have the opportunity to do something for their children, even if they don’t take it up.
I don’t think an exchange of views is moaning… but it is a very hot day…
Not talking about funds paid direct to school… folk on the website were talking about the funds that get paid direct to the parents (re young kids).
Even with my rose-tinted glasses, I don’t think that all parents are as honest and supportive of their family as you are…
From what I read on Sud-Ouest, folk were just trying to find some way to ensure that the kids DO benefit… and that can’t be bad… surely…
What puzzled me a bit, is the small difference from a 6 years old kid and a 15 years old kid. As Vero said about the real cost of the lycée, it would be logical for me to have less when they are very young and much more after the collège. I use to benefit this allocation when my kid was 8 years old, as all the basics for school were already bought by the school (a choice of the mairie). In any case, my daughter benefited from it one way or another, but not directly for school items. At that time I was unemployed and suffered a lot of what people said : Unemployed people are lazy, there is plenty of jobs in the chicken factories. I was answering them that I was personaly unemployed and the answer was : oh no, you it’s not the same !
I suspect that those folk who put a blanket-label of “lazy” on the unemployed … have not suffered that indignity themselves… or they would be more understanding.
My daughters did prépa and then Grandes Ecoles, it cost me 0, that is the truly fantastic thing about the French system and what used to be marvellous about the British system - back in the good old days when we got grants, my time at Cambridge didn’t cost my parents a thing. I had rent etc to pay but my summer job funded that, actual education cost 0.
Likewise Véronique - and you’re right the French system has much in common with the UK of my pre-Thatcher youth.
I’ve recently had a couple of years illness that have cut my earnings, and the allocations familiale and rentrée have been vital - they are surely an aspect of the more redistributive nature of the French system: higher tax but higher benefits when tou really need them. Also, in comparison with the UK the allocation rentrée is fair because here parents do have to buy much stationery etc that is supplied by schools in the UK.
Raising 5 children on your own, by the way, is truly heroic - I have 4, but fortunately also a very well-organised and hard-working wife!
I believe tuition fees in the UK were introduced by a labour administration in 1998.
I was thinking more generally - the UK took a wrong turn in a number ways in 1979 - broadly towards ‘neo-liberalism’ - which subsequent governments (whether Tory, ‘New’ Labour, or coalition) have failed to fully reverse - and this is the origin of one of its main differences with its north-western-European neighbouring countries, which never fell under the spell of Hayek etc to the same extent.
Interestingly, people in the UK really were happiest in the 1970s - which is certainly how I remember them…