Top ten useful facts about schools in France
Are you moving to France and confused about the schools? We list the top ten facts about schools in France that every expat parent should know. Good news for parents is that the French government spends more on the education system than most other Western countries and as a result the French school system is admired the world over.
1. Education in France is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16, and state schools are entirely free from nursery school through to university.
2. Children must attend a state school within a certain distance of their home, so if you have a preference for a particular school, it’s important to buy or rent a home within that school’s catchment area.
3. French school children don’t wear uniforms not even those at private schools. However, some international schools may require your child to wear a uniform as they often follow the school model found in the United Kingdom.
4. If interested in private schools you’ll be surprised to see that they are a lot cheaper than those in the UK.
5. Most schools in France operate on a four-day week basis, Monday to Friday with Wednesdays off. School hours vary.
6. The school year runs from September to early July with a long summer holiday in between making it the ideal time to take the children and explore your new homeland.
7. For your child to attend a school in France you must provide proof of residence in the form of a bill or proof of property ownership.
8. From primary school level, children are subjected to constant testing. The actual curriculum is similar to that in the UK but more focused on examinations. Any pupil that passes the French baccalauréat examination is guaranteed entry to a university unlike in the UK where strict grade boundaries are often required.
9. It is a good idea to teach your children some French before making the move across the channel, it will make them feel more comfortable and makes it easier for them to settle into their new school.
10. You should prepare yourself and your child for homework, as in France they often get a lot more than English schoolchildren do.