Home Schooling Ban

Hi All
I’ve just met a distraught couple who had planned to home-school their daughter- she’ll be 3 next September. Apparently Macron has banned all home-schooling (and Montessori schools too) in a decree designed to stop the spread of terrorism. Has anyone (with more French than me) any more information to add?
Be safe
F x

I find this very hard to believe. The home schooling kids I teach English to use the government CNED website / materials and all is in compliance with the laws. And how on earth home schooling and terrorism go together I have no idea!! Where did they hear this information?

Looks like it might be true. Just found this after the briefest of Google searches.
Izzy x

And this in French.
Izzy x

I think that is terrible. The French school system can be pretty horrific. Both families I know are home schooling due to the really terrible college that is pretty much the only choice here. I’m considering pulling my teen out and homeschooling for the rest of the year, until he can start his apprenticeship next year) as he is so unhappy.

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Alternative schools like Montessori aren’t banned, but will just have to abide by stricter rule to ensure the full curriculum is taught.

And I think it will still be possible to home school as long as it is under the auspices of CNED [Centre national d’enseignement à distance].

To my shame (as a Jew) I have seen some appalling “schools” in the Jewish community in the UK…ok they are not teaching terrorism but are not helping the kids integrate into modern UK. And the gender roles are dreadful. Apparently worse exist in muslim communities so something that gets rid of all these is perhaps a good thing.


Why do you think that Jane? Perhaps I haven’t read it correctly but it seems the only exception to compulsory school attendance will be on health grounds.
I guess there will be further clarification when the law is published.
Izzy x

Worrying - although my guess is that the proposal will be watered down in due course
While I agree with the French principle of Laïcité, and the regulated secularism of schools, I would hope to see ways of monitoring this, and curtailing extremism, without banning all home education.

I don’t really agree with starting compulsory school at 3 either. In Sweden kids don’t start until age 7 (universal pre-school age 6) and still come out at the OECD average level or higher - and, interestingly, without the gap between the standards reached by boys and girls that is increasing in many other countries - indeed, I believe there is a fairly well established statistical relationship between starting school early and boys underperforming by the time they leave.


From the article you have linked it says:
Qui va bénéficier des exceptions ? Dans l’entourage du ministre, on parle des enfants malades, des sportifs de haut niveau et des familles itinérantes.
So an extremely limited list of exceptions and, in practice, it will only really be possible for those children in ill health if the law is enacted as described.
Izzy x

Sorry, must have been another article which I now can’t find. Anyway it seemed to suggest that children who were subscribed and followed CNED courses at home would be fine. It was the schooling “hors CNED” that will be forbidden.

There must be a French equivalent of mum’s net or similar with more information. Although of course there’s also probably a lot of misinformation too!


What sense does it make to send kids to school at 3 years? Wonder who influenced Macron to get this law passed. Macron has no children and no experience, what the development of children at 3 years is!
Kids will need to learn enough, when they go to high- or grammar school and university, why start at 3 years old?

As I understand it, Annie, kids already start at 3 in France - not sure if this was Macron’s idea, though I guess he must be happy with it.


I am glad not to have children, so I am ignorant about sending kids to school at 3 years! I went to a kindergarden at that age and then only half day!

At 3 (or even 2) you go to ecole maternelle, where you stay until the September of the calendar year you turn six, which is when actual school begins and you learn to read and write etc.

In maternelle you lean to speak properly, to socialise, to go to the loo and wash your hands, to play nicely, to eat with your friends sitting on chairs using a knife and fork, to become independent, to deal with rules, to be polite, to handle books and listen to stories, to draw and paint, often to swim - to cope with school trips sometimes involving an overnight stay… all that sort of thing. It is being enforced because something like 90% of children already go and those who don’t it is often because they stay at home with their mother who hasn’t got a job and doesn’t necessarily help them acquire the skills they will need when they go into CP ie the first year of real school.


As à Swedish person I don’t agree at all with your saying Swedish students and parents look at Finland instead because their schools are so much better

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It’s because child care kindergarten are so expensive in France that parents can’t afford it some of my friends want their kids to start at age 2 instead

I went to school at 3. Both my parents worked full time and as far as I recall I loved it. I was occupied, kept entertained, fed with wonderful things I wasn’t allowed at home like orange squash, and made friends. I even learnt my alphabet and numbers.

Would I have been better off stuck on a sofa by myself watching kids tv? I don’t think so. Yes some parents are able and willing to devote their whole attention to their kids, but I think this isn’t the majority.


The ecole maternelle is free. You can of course choose to go to a private one where you have to pay, if you so wish.


I think you might not be answering the right person here :grinning:
I not only went to school at 2 or 3 , I was sent away to boarding school at 4, which I chose not to do with my own children (who started maternelle in très petite section ie at 2, because they were ready).

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