Education in France

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to Education in France.

Here you can find all the answers to your questions about Schooling in France, from a complete introduction to the French Education system, helpful tips to help you choose a suitable school for your children, how to talk to your children's teacher and other useful information.
 

 

French School System

An in depth look at the different types of Schools in France

Choosing a School

Information on choosing a School and children's integration

French School Life

A taste of what goes on during a school day in France

Home and School

Information about Home Teaching, School holiday dates

LATEST ARTICLES ON EDUCATION IN FRANCE

French regional education contacts

Regional and departmental education contacts in France

Your handy list of French region and department education authority contacts in France Below is a run-down of the major educational structures in France followed by a comprehensive list of the regional academy contacts in France, plus the departmental services within those regions.

French school sign for secularism

A guide to education reforms in France in 2015

Reforms to the French collège system In spite of much consternation, union disgruntlement and, naturellement, strikes by teachers back in May, France’s Socialist Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem’s reforms to educational practices in French middle schools (collèges) for pupils between 11 and 15

Interns working at office

Doing an internship in France

Are you as student looking for your dream internship in France? Here’s all you need to know in order to make this first professional experience abroad one hundred per cent positive and memorable.

andrea bouchaud

Living and studying in Paris

Andrea knew she wanted to live in France ever since her first day of French class when she was 13 years old…

IBS classroom

Bilingual Schools in Provence

“IBS Classroom” For families wishing to ensure their children are prepared for both the French Baccalauréat and either the English or American university system, there are a number of bilingual international schools in Provence.

Map of Toulouse

What’s on in the Midi-Pyrénées

There are all sorts of events being planned throughout the year in the Midi-Pyrénées region. Here’s our pick of the bunch, from springtime carnivals in Albi and Castres to local food festivals and major music concerts.

Ellie Cobbe

Living and studying in Paris

Ellie Cobbe spent six months studying in the French capital and met a wealth of different people from all different backgrounds with one shared philosophy: a desire to live and learn in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Judo club

Extra-curricular activities

In France, the school day is long and children spend much of their time sitting behind a desk. They do, however, have a day off from school mid-week, providing an opportunity to practise sport or take on other hobbies.

La salle de classe

Moving teenagers to a French school

When Beth Ducat moved to France, she gave her two teenage daughters, Emma and Alex, the choice to stay in the UK or come to France with her. They chose the latter. Here, Beth tells how her daughters coped with their new French school…

Going to school in France

Starting school in France

Holly was 12 when her family moved from Beaminster in Dorset to the Mayenne in France and had to go to a French school. Find out how she got on…

Kids camp

Les colonies de vacances

Holiday camps for children (colonies de vacances) are not unheard of in the UK but in France they are a national institution. During the school holidays, French children aged from four up to 18 are sent away from home for several activity filled weeks.

Cabinet Madier

Materials & Provisions

Parents are expected to purchase a number of items for their child’s education. A list of these can be obtained from the school or sometimes from the Mairie. Here is …

Classroom with Teenagers

Secondary Schools in France

Secondary education is compulsory until the age of 16 and includes attendance at a college until age 15. At 15 the next steps are decided by examination. The higher ranking students will have the opportunity…

Cabinet Madier3

School Selection

Which school? There are around 57,000 nursery and primary schools and 7,400 lycées in France so there is plenty of choice ! But of course most people will want to know where the nearest schools are in relation to an area they might consider moving to. A good place to start is to check the website of the nearest Académie…

education in France photo by Jarmoluk via Fotolia

French state education – an introduction

French state education is well-organised, well-funded and with generally average to high standards in comparison to other European countries. The state system is also complemented by a comprehensive network of Private Schools including international schools…

Students in Lecture Hall

French Private Schools

Around 15% of children in France attend private school of one kind or another. Schools come in many forms: international, catholic, American, British, day and boarding, French and bi-lingual.
Not surprisingly …

Bella Mia

Primary Schools (ecole Primaire)

The basic tools of development French primary schools (also known as “écoles élémentaire”) cover the ages six to eleven with five courses of study, one for each year: CP – Cours Preparatoire CE1 – Cours Elementaire 1st year CE2 –

Going to school in France

Education in France – FAQ

If you are moving to France, you may have many questions about how to get your child into school and how they will adapt. Jacqueline Karp has taught in French schools and put her own child through the system. Here she answers your FAQs…

The Sharman family

How will your children cope?

Perhaps the biggest concern for any family moving to the Limousin is how easily their children will settle here and the quality of the education they will receive. We met up with one family who came to live in the Limousin and have very much made it their home.

Graduation

Applying for university in France

Once you have your bac “en poche” (literally, in your pocket), you have access to university, and as long as there is space, you can, in theory, sign up for any of the courses available. Jacqueline Karp tells you some of the points you need to be aware of.

Margaret Lazenberg

French Parenting

‘When I arrived in Paris as an au pair, the school children advancing hand in hand in the streets immediately caught my attention. Just like “Madeline” in the 1930’s series about the little Parisian and her friends, “in the streets they walk in two straight lines”.’

accents english class

Maintaining your children’s English in France

When Kathryn Dobson moved to France with her family she soon realised that her children were losing their knowledge and ability to write English. So she set up a small school that now runs a variety of classes and groups for both native English-speaking and French children and their parents…

classroom

How good is my local school in France?

There are no official league tables in France. In fact, they are frowned upon by some in the government and teachers, so it can be difficult to find out how good your local school really is. However, there are some statistics available.

bilingual kids

Raising Bilingual Children: The Most Successful Methods

Have you ever noticed how poorly many children handle change and how they thrive when on familiar turf? When you’ve read that same story every night for two months, you’ll know what I mean. Certainly, kids learn languages under the most chaotic conditions – just look at the average dinner table scene – but some predictability within the chaos spells safety and security, which in turn promotes learning.

Desk tidy

Homeschooling in France

If you’re worried about how your child is coping at school, perhaps home schooling is the answer – 500 families already do so in France. Stephanie Dagg, who has homeschooled her own daughter, explains how it works…

First Day at School

School Life in France

To start with we came over and lived in the holiday house that we bought 6 years ago, and (with an estate agent) drove around aimlessly looking for a for a good house. But we were choosey and all wanted the house to have…

Ecole Maternelle

Transferring into the French School System

It can be a daunting step when moving one’s child from their ‘mother tongue’ educational system into an entirely new one. The good news for those moving to France is that the French state education system is highly regarded both in France and at an international level…

Education Zones

The French Educational System

In France, education is the responsibility of the state and is provided through a series of state (i.e., public) schools, although private schools are also available. Education is mandatory up to the age of 16 and is free until the age of 18. The Ministère de l’Education Nationale (Ministry of Education) manages all aspects of education …

dyslexia pic

Managing dyslexia in France

Dyslexia can be isolating, especially when you are also trying to learn a new language. Did you know there’s an English language website offering help and information on how to help a child with dyslexia in France?

Cookies made by children

French school dinners

With all the fuss over school dinners in the UK, and headlines such as “Not fit for a dog” in the national papers, we asked Graham Downie how school meals compared …

Alliance Francais Lyon

Preparing Your Child for La Rentrée

Once you’ve enrolled your child at school, you will be presented with a list of equipment they will need for the start of term – here is our useful vocabulary guide to help you organise for the return (la rentrée) to school.

Father and son

Insider tips on educating your child in France

Much of the information available about French education prepares you for the procedures and helps you understand the system. However, there are some aspects about moving your child to France that aren’t mentioned in books or TV programmes…

School in letters

School Enrolment in France

If you are visiting on an extended stay, or have moved to your new area in France your Mairie is the place to start in order to enrol your child in school.

Educational Cycles

Reforms introduced in 1989/90 divided nursery and primary schooling into cycles (cycles pedagogique). There are three cycles, each of three years duration, designed to provide the ability for pupils to …