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What you need to know about French schools this September

PUBLISHED: 12:59 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:59 15 August 2017

With a new president, France's school system will see a number of changes © Fotolia

With a new president, France's school system will see a number of changes © Fotolia


The new French school year is just around the corner and thanks to a new government, this year brings about lots of changes. Here’s what you can expect come September…

The school week will be four days for many students

A third of primary schools will return to a four-day week when the new school year starts in September. This follows minister for education, Jean-Michel Blanquer’s announcement in May that he would give local communes the flexibility to choose which timetable suits them best. For the schools changing their timetable, it will be the third time in the past nine years that they have changed the school schedule. You can check if your child’s school is changing their timetable here.

There will be a bigger emphasis on music

The Minister for education Jean-Michel Blanquer has made it clear that he wants to develop the practise of music in schools and has said he will ensure that there are choirs in schools and colleges. It’s hoped that the focus on music will encourage more students to play instruments and perform in concerts.

The school holiday dates for 2017-2018 have been released! The school holiday dates for 2017-2018 have been released!

When are the school holidays?

The school year might not have even started but already, everyone’s got holidays on their minds... Download the calendar of school holidays here

There will be a new homework programme

This scheme offers students the chance to get help with their homework within their own school, free of charge. It’s hoped that it will be offered to 20% of schoolchildren in 2017 and will have the help of volunteer teachers, teaching assistants etc.


Don’t miss

10 differences between French and British schools

How I survived as a British child at a French school


There will be fewer exams

The number of final-year exams taken will be limited to four, which will reduce the cost of the Baccalaureate and take a little stress off the students studying for them!

Schools will have more say on what subjects are taught

Under Hollande’s government, schools had to incorporate more practical, interdisciplinary lessons. These will not be abolished, but their framework will be relaxed meaning that those who want to keep the current programme can, but those who want to reintroduce more classical topics such as Latin and Greek will also be free to do so.

Extra lessons before collège will be available

Students about to enter the first year of collège will be offered extra lessons outside of school at the end of August, before the school year starts. Focusing on French and Maths, the courses will be free and will last for a week. They will be available at the end of August for ‘priority education and if possible, on a larger scale’.

Classes in disadvantaged areas will have fewer students

Children starting primary school in deprived neighbourhoods could find themselves with fewer classmates than before as the maximum number of children in this first-year classes will be reduced to 12. In the long-term, this will apply to all children in their first year of primary school in disadvantaged areas, but for this year it only applies to those in the ‘strengthened priority networks’ (REP+).

Other articles you might like:

12 things you should know about French schools

5 things I learned when my children started a French school

Tips for moving as a family to France

A guide to the French education system

Why are French school dinners so good?


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