Education: a proactive policy but a disputed record

Education laws were often touted by the majority as one of the hallmarks of social progress during Emmanuel Macron’s tenure. And this despite the criticism from the teaching world that shaped the five-year term. From doubling CP and CE1 classes to Parcoursup, a detailed review of the laws that shaped the legislature.

This is undoubtedly the measure that Jean-Michel Blanquer appreciates the most: at the beginning of the 2017 school year, the government began dividing CP and CE1 classes into priority education zones (REP and REP+). The offer was financed in the various financing calculations and is now being successively expanded to include classes in the large kindergarten sector. “It is the most social measure imaginable“, said in September 2021 the Minister for National Education, who defended his assessment during Question Time in the government. According to him “the level of the students is improving and this is happening in the most disadvantaged environments“.

Another symbolic innovation: the reform of the Gymnasium and the Oberschule, which put an end to the L, ES and S streams: from now on, in the first year, the students have to choose three specializations, two of them in the final year. Changes that have led to a decline in mathematics instruction, which may be abandoned by high school students at the end of second. An aspect of the reform to which Jean-Michel Blanquer and Emmanuel Macron have announced their intention to return, reintegrating this theme into the common core of the first and final years.

Access to higher education was also one of the very first projects launched under Emmanuel Macron’s presidency. On February 15, 2018, the Law on Student Orientation and Success (ORE) was finally approved, led by Minister of Higher Education, Frédérique Vidal. The law was introduced a new device, parcoursup, for applications for enrollment in university courses and thus replaces thea Post-Bac Admission (APB) platform.

LCourses that have traditionally been open to all (mainly at universities) can now classify between candidates according to their aptitude. New selection methods, which, in addition to repeated bugs and a readability problem in the system, have directed most of the criticism against Parcoursup. The minister has always defended her reform, using the terms “deserved” and equality in access to courses.

read, write, count

In 2019, the National Assembly finally approved the “Trust School” law, which lowers the compulsory school age from six to three years. This law established the main orientations desired by Jean-Michel Blanquer, giving the primary school in particular the objective of “transmitting to all students basic knowledge: reading, writing, counting and respect for others”. It also makes training compulsory for young people up to the age of 18. The text also changed the training of teachers and changed the conditions for hiring accompanying disabled students (AESH): they must now be hired “through a three-year contract, renewable once”, and then hired through CDI.

Other texts, not specifically related to school, contain provisions related to education. Such is the case of the controversial Avia law “To Combat Hateful Content Online” promulgated in 2020. This text stipulates that students must now be made aware of “fighting against the dissemination of hateful content on the Internet” of “banning harassment in the digital space” but also “the proper use of digital tools and social networks”.

In 2021, MPs passed the Regional Language Heritage Protection and Promotion Bill by Liberties and Territories MP Paul Molac. CIn particular, the text obliges the municipality of residence of a student to contribute to his tuition fees if he attends regional language courses at a contracted private school, if that municipality does not offer these courses itself.

A measure and a text that is supported by most “La République en Marche” deputies challenged by a significant number of those elected the majority. As a result, the text was finally adopted with the support of 137 LaREM-MoDem-Agir MEPs, but it was referred to the Constitutional Council by 61 MEPs from the same factions. The wise kept the destiny. On the other hand, they deleted the article on “immersion” teaching in the regional language: this method, which consists in using the language in question as the main language of instruction and as the language of communication within the establishment, has been declared unconstitutional.

A few months later, the deputies oversaw home education during the passage of the bill “Consolidating Respect for the Principles of the Republic.” From the start of the 2022 school year, family upbringing, which was previously regulated by a registration system, will be subject to an approval regime, to the chagrin of parliamentary rights. Families already using home schooling will benefit from almost automatic approval until 2024.


Outside the school realm but relating to children, the spanking ban was passed in July 2019, bolstered by a bill by Maud Petit (MoDem). Another child protection text: the Senate bill prohibiting the sale and offering of nitrous oxide to minors, finally adopted by the two chambers on May 25, 2021. also activated to oversee the work of child influencers on the platforms.

At the end of the legislature, MPs considered the bill introduced by Erwan to combat harassment in schools balanant (modem). Elected unanimously by MPs on Janis December 2021, it provides for the creation of a new criminal offense in the Criminal Code: This provides for up to ten years in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros for acts that are considered harassment at school if these acts have resulted in the victim losing his life finished or try. In the case of total incapacity for work (ITT) of less than or equal to eight days, the sanction would be three years imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros.

But the Senate prefers to make bullying at school an aggravating circumstance of the offense of harassment that already exists in the law: MPs and senators found at the joint joint committee meeting on January 1is February 2022, which prevents for the time being final acceptance of the text.

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