Just £2 per issue Subscribe to one of our France Magazines click here

10 differences between French and British schools

PUBLISHED: 16:43 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 09:42 11 January 2016

Pupils at a French school © Fotolia

Pupils at a French school © Fotolia

oporkka - Fotolia

Tackling the French education system? Find out the 10 biggest differences between French and British schools

1. Formal schooling starts at six years in France, although in reality little children are learning from four years old

2. No school uniform in French schools

3. Greater emphasis in France on the core subjects, i.e. French and maths, and less time given to imaginative/creative subjects (story-writing, drama) in primary school, but paradoxically more time given to learning poems and texts by heart

4. Repeating a year is more common in France, should the child be consistently under-achieving

5. No headmaster or headmistress in French schools – teachers are answerable direct to the regional education authority and a teacher is designated ‘director’ for administrative tasks each year. Secondary schools have a non-teaching, full-time director at the helm

6. No packed lunch in most French schools – it’s either the canteen or home for lunch

7. No celebration of religious festivals, so no nativity play: schools are strictly secular except, of course, for the private Catholic schools

8. France still operates what is effectively a primary, middle and upper school system, with pupils entering secondary middle school (collège) aged 11, before going to sixth-form college or high school (lycée) at 15 years old

9. Parents must take out annual insurance – called assurance scolaire – for their children attending school in France (it isn’t expensive) but●on the upside, parents receive an annual allowance per child for the ‘rentrée’ to help pay for school essentials

10. Private education is far less prevalent in France – Catholic schools are deemed ‘private’, but teachers are paid by the state as in secular schools, and fees are around €100 per term. there is also a relatively small network of high fee-paying private schools

Confused by the French education system? Read our simple guide to the different schools for different ages

Further reading; 

A guide to childcare in France

5 tips for moving to France as a family

 

How to move to France with children

 

Higher education in France

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Complete France visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Complete France staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Complete France account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Article by Living France Living France

More from Living in France

Tue, 13:26

British expat Rosie Hill grows a variety of fruit and vegetables in her Normandy garden that she uses to cook for the family throughout the year

Read more
Expats in France
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Moving to a new country can be daunting and feel lonely, but follow our tried and tested tips for making new friends in France and your social calendar will soon be packed

Read more
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Make a note of these French emergency numbers and what to say when you ring them in case you need help while in France

Read more
Friday, January 13, 2017

A step-by-step guide to setting up broadband in your new French property so you can stay connected with friends and family

Read more
Thursday, April 6, 2017

The competition for holiday lets in France is high. Donna Sloane from French Connection shares her tips on how to add value to your holiday let and maximise your income

Read more
Running a business
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

From running a B&B or gîte to renting out your land or even listing your home as a location for filming, there are plenty of ways you can make money from your French property

Read more
Running a business
Mon, 16:59

A new law means that those transferring a UK pension abroad could now face a 25% tax, so what options are there for those looking to take their UK pension abroad?

Read more
Monday, March 20, 2017

Retirement in France can be idyllic but make sure you plan ahead and take the necessary legal steps to ensure you can relax and enjoy your golden years in France

Read more
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Finding the right mutuelle (top-up health insurance) in France can be enough to make you feel ill. But considering these points will help you make the right choice

Read more
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The French healthcare system is considered one of the best examples of universal care at affordable rates – but how does the mutuelle work?

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now