2.9 Comparative Education: Can you explore the place of private education in the French Educational System?

                                                               CHAPTER TWO

2.9 Explore the place of private education in the French Education System

Private education

In France private education was recognized in several stages starting in the mid-19th  Century.

Private education for primary school was organized by the Act of 30 October 1986, secondary education by the Act of 15 March 1850 (Falloux Act), higher education by the Act of 12 July 1875 and technical education by the Act of 25 July 1919. It’s the Debré law of 1959 (added to the Education Code in 2000) that governs private education today .The government announces and respects the freedom of education and ensures its exercise in legitimate private institutions. One primary student out of 7 and 1 lower and higher secondary student out of 5 attend private schools.

In return for public funding, private schools must adhere to requirements and public service obligations that limit the freedom they have. Private schools are connected to the State through various types of contracts. Two thirds operate under partnership contracts and the remaining third operates under a simple contract that is less binding but provides for fewer subsidies as well. In order for the more popular partnership contract to be granted, private schools must meet the following requirements:

  • it must meet a recognized educational need;


  • its facilities must be adequate;


  • it must have a faculty-student ratio that corresponds to the public;


  • it must hire teachers with the same qualifications and degrees required of public school teachers.


In a school under partnership contracts, the central government pays the salaries of teacher and other staff. The local government pays for the running of the school; equivalent to the aid it grants public schools. However, families bear the cost of facilities and religious activities.


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