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


How do I get 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.

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

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.

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.

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 …

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…

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 …

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 –

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…

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 – 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…

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.

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.

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”.’

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…

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.

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.

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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?

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 …

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.

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 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 …