All educational programmes in France are regulated by the Ministry of National Education (officially called Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de la Jeunesse et de la Vie associative). The head of the ministry is the Minister of National Education, one of the highest-ranking officials in the cabinet. As of August 2012, the Minister is Vincent Peillon.
The teachers in public primary and secondary schools are all state civil servants, making the ministère the largest employer in the country. Professors and researchers in France's universities are also employed by the state.
At the primary and secondary levels, the curriculum is the same for all French students in any given grade, which includes public, semi-public and subsidised institutions. However, there exist specialised sections and a variety of options that students can choose. The reference for all French educators is the Bulletin officiel de l'éducation nationale, de l'enseignement supérieur et de la recherche (B.O.) which lists all current programmes and teaching directives. It is amended many times every year.
Find B.O. archives on the Ministry's official website
|A||Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Lyon, Montpellier, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Rennes, Toulouse|
|B||Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Besançon, Dijon, Lille, Limoges, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Poitiers, Reims, Rouen, Strasbourg|
|C||Bordeaux, Créteil, Paris, Versailles|
In the Metropolitan territory, the school year extends from early-September to early-July. The school calendar is standardized throughout the country, and is the sole domain of the ministry.
In May schools need time to organise the exams (for example, the Baccalauréat). In the overseas departments and territories of France, the school calendar is set by the local recteur.
Major holiday breaks are as follows:
- All Saints (la Toussaint), two weeks (since 2012) around the end of October and the beginning of November;
- Christmas (Noël), two weeks around Christmas Day and New Year's Day;
- winter (hiver), two weeks starting in mid February;
- spring (printemps) or Easter (Pâques), two weeks starting in mid April;
- summer (été), two months starting in early July.
Read more about this topic: Education In France
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