The law confirming respect for republican principles now makes school attendance compulsory for all children. In the name of the fight against radical Islam, the President of the Republic announced in Les Mureaux her desire to strictly limit homeschooling.
Therefore, from the beginning of the 2022 school year, homeschooling becomes derogatory. Parents who wish to homeschool will need to obtain prior authorization and no longer simply submit a statement. Only four reasons can justify home schooling: the child’s health or disability; intensive exercise of sports or artistic activities; family homelessness or a specific situation for the child that motivates the educational project. UIn a decree of the State Council, the conditions for granting the authorization must be defined.
While reviewing the text, senators fiercely fought this measure. In vain they sought to maintain the declaration regime for home education, strengthening controls. The senatorial right captured the Constitutional Council, but the Eldership confirmed, on Friday, August 13, the tightening of the conditions for education at home.
However, the Constitutional Council presents a reserve of interpretation specifying “that it will be up to the regulatory power, under the control of the judge, to determine the procedures for granting authorization for family education and the competent administrative authorities to base their decision only on the criteria established by law, excluding any kind of discrimination”.
“It is a decline in the freedom of education”, reacts the LR Senator, Max Brisson. A trained teacher, he says he understands and respects the decision of the Constitutional Council, but fears the effects of this measure:
“I know from experience that the administration will take a very restrictive view of homeschooling.”
For Max Brisson, “the administration will necessarily be judge and party” insofar as “those who organize a system are required not to determine whether a child can follow it or not.” The senator from Pyrenees-Atlantiques remains connected to public schools and rightly considers that it is the state of this institution that has brought “this decline”.
“In some territories, parents are abandoning public schools”
“Homeschooling had withstood all the school wars because the public school didn’t doubt itself. Today we are in a period of retreat, this government has difficulties with diversity, this is a phenomenon that we also notice in the topic of regional languages”, explains Max Brisson.
According to him, the teaching conditions in some public institutions also justify home schooling. “In some territories, parents are abandoning public schools. Today, many parents are worried about this reform”, he says.
The fight against “separatism” or sectarian deviations cannot justify this measure. “During the review of the text, the government was unable to demonstrate the link between separatism and home schooling,” Max Brisson continues.
The law that consolidates respect for republican principles also attacks non-contract private schools. Centrist senator Françoise Gatel had already initiated in the Senate a text held by the government to better control these institutions. This text creates, here, a new system of administrative closure of schools that have not been declared or that have not corrected the deficiencies found by the administration. Prefects will have the opportunity to oppose the opening of schools outside the contract supported by “a foreign state hostile to the Republic”. The law must now be approved.