FRANCE – Proposed Abolition of Educational Freedom of Choice
On the 2nd of October 2020 the French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced his intention to end home education in France as of September 2021.
Currently French families have full authority over their children and their children’s education. This freedom of educational choice is upheld by the constitution, the Jules Ferry Law of 1882 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
Current Education Regulations
There are already two frameworks in place to regulate elective home education in France
- a yearly inspection of each child by the National Education Department and
- a biennial meeting with the mayor of the town.
Both these measures adequately ensure that each child is in a safe environment and receiving an adequate education. If the education provided is deemed insufficient by the education authority, a second inspection is required to rectify the situation. If after a second inspection, the education provided continues to prove inadequate, there is an obligation of enrolment in public or private school.
As home education is a parental right, it is not subject to authorisation. A simple declaration of intent to home educate sent to the two previously mentioned bodies, is adequate.
Emmanuel Macron wishes to end this parental right under the guise of protecting children and the state from separatist groups and islamic extremism in particular.
Recent Changes in Law
Legislative changes in 2019 have made education compulsory in France from 3 to 16 years (instead of 6 to 16 years as it was previously).
Compulsory education from the age of 3 years (since 2019) and current health measures relating to COVID 19, have led to a rise in home education in 2020.
Yet home educated children comprise a mere 0.4% of the school aged population.
Every person who has committed an act of terrorism in France has been the beneficiary of a state school education.
What this Means
France, the homeland of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (signed in Paris 1948) has projected the image of a democratic state, with LIBERTY being of the main national principals.
The proposed law would end freedom of educational choice in France. Suppression of liberty has repercussions, not only for France but also impacts the wider international community.
The association Les Enfants d’Abord (LED’A – Children First) completely opposes the proposed banning of home education and asks for your support in this regard.
How You Can Help
Write an open letter to the French Embassy in your country expressing your support for the French home educating community and declare opposition to the proposal to end educational freedom of choice in France.
Write an article/open letter to your local press expressing your support for the French home educating community and declare opposition to the proposal to end educational freedom of choice in France. You can also forward press releases from the LED’A website.
Organise a demonstration in support of the French home educating community and declare opposition to the proposal to end educational freedom of choice in France.