As of 2011, candidates must have a two-year master in order to enter the competitive exam with a view to raising the qualification level of
teachers. Whilst preparing for the competitive exam at university, students can undertake work placements in class, either through observing or teaching, with the support of another teacher or with sole responsibility for a class. Afterwards successful candidates become trainee teachers: they are assigned to a school for a year. They are awarded permanent status at the end of their first year of teaching and training, if the outcome of their assessment is positive.
Several Competitive Exams
In order to teach at primary level, candidates take the primary teacher recruitment competition (CRPE) organised by the regional académie.
There are several national competitive exams for teaching in the public sector at secondary level:
- The Certificate of Aptitude in Secondary Teaching (Certificat d'aptitude au professorat de l'enseignement du second degré, CAPES);
- The Certificate of Aptitude in Physical and Sporting Education teaching (Certificat d'aptitude au professorat d'éducation physique et sportive, CAPEPS);
- The Certificate of Aptitude in Vocational Teaching (Certificat d'aptitude au professorat de lycée professionnel, CAPLP);
- The Agrégation (more selective than the CAPES and leading to different teaching conditions).
847,259 teachers including 711 165 in the state sector
370,161 teachers at primary level.
477,098 teachers at secondary level.
Source: The State of Schools 2014 - Direction de l'évaluation, de la prospective et de la performance (Assessment, Forward-Planning and Performance Directorate), - Ministry of National Education, Ministry for Higher Education and Research)