Current issues

Equal Opportunities Policy [anglais]

The priority education policy aims to correct the effects of social and economic inequality in educational attainment, ensure command of the common core by all pupils at the end of compulsory schooling and reduce the attainment gap between pupils. This policy targets, first and foremost, schools with the greatest difficulties. Many different programmes have been set up to support these students and their families, including educational priority networks set up throughout the country and a set of key measures designed to help pupils, support teachers, and provide an appropriate learning framework.

Priority Education

The "educational priority" policy aims to reduce the impact of social and economic inequalities that affect pupils' performance and attainment at school. It acts through positive educational action in those schools that have the greatest number of disadvantaged children.The 2013 framework law "Loi d'orientation et de programmation pour la refondation de l'école de la République" says the aim is to close the gap in educational success rates between disadvantaged pupils and other pupils to below 10%. At present, a child from a working-class family has half the chance of one from a professional family of passing the general baccalauréat or obtaining a higher education degree. REP (priority education networks) in the 1,095 most underprivileged local areas and the allocation of resources takes into account social and regional problems, in this new programme. 

The 14 key measures

Help for pupils

  • Schooling for under-threes, identified as giving a powerful boost to success of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • More teachers than classes in the schools to help teachers plan their work in teams, and help them identify pupils' needs and support their learning processes by alternative teaching methods;
  • After-school supervision for pupils in their first secondary year for help with homework, methodological support or tutoring;
  • Extending the "D'Col" scheme, which since 2013 has given first-year secondary pupils in difficulty individualised digital support in French, maths and English;
  • Developing pupils' ambition and curiosity to help them decide their education plans;
  • Providing local boarding facilities for collège pupils who would benefit from adapted accommodation and study conditions.

Trained, stable and well supported teaching teams

  • Time for teachers to work together, with periods devoted to training, organising teamwork and monitoring pupils in REPs with most difficulties: at collège, an hour and a half weekly; at primary school, nine days a year;
  • A major inservice training and support plan for teachers working in REPs, with three days a year training guaranteed in the most difficult networks; hands-on experts to work with teams; mentoring for new teachers;
  • Incentives to retain the teacher teams, with higher pay, training in priority education reflected in prospects for career advancement, and allowances taking account of local needs and the educational project.

An appropriate learning framework

  • Sustainable projects based on best practice thanks to a reference document devised by priority education experts which serves as a foundation for building REP projects and developing educational practices. Resources for these are guaranteed for four years;
  • A fund to finance educational activities and for running REPs, for local teams to set up innovative activities for pupils;
  • A welcome for parents every morning and an open-school policy so parents can follow their children's education;
  • 13,500 safety and security assistants, first appointed in 2012, have contributed to a more peaceful atmosphere in schools;
  • Extra school nurses and social workers in the most challenging areas, to safeguard pupils' health and wellbeing from primary school onwards

Priority Education Funding

85% increase for social funds and revaluation of social grants

  • €65 million in 2017 (x2 since 2012)
  • New system for secondary school grants: +10% for upper secondary school students (2016 school year) and +25% for lower secondary school students (2017 school year)
  • €1,000 grant for school dropouts returning to education

For more information on the Ministry's Priority Education Policy, click here.

What is éduscol?

Eduscol, the website of the Directorate-general for Schools of the French Ministry for National Education, is aimed at education professionals and, primarily, teachers. Its purpose is to provide them with information by presenting official texts and offering resources to support their implementation on the ground.

Last updated May 10, 2017
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