Live in France? Join us for a gentil thread

(527 Posts)
TheAccidentalExhibitionist Tue 01-Oct-13 19:39:59

So how about a lovely supportive, information sharing thread for us mumsnetters living in France?
I've been here for two years, this is my second time living here so 4 years in total.
I have my moans about France, the paperwork, the driving but other than that I love it smile

Nomdeclavier Sat 26-Oct-13 18:46:17

I prepared the CAPES for last session but then got pregnant and couldn't face the looooong exams. Worth doing I think, but I'm protected from being sent nasty places by DH's job to a certain extent. Gets us lots of points!

Yep, being moved to somewhere undesirable is really putting me off teaching in a state school sad Does having children in school get you more points by any chance??

tb (in case you don't know already) there is a governmental or EU organization which (for a price) gives you an official equivalent for your studies-I am on my phone right now but I can send you the link later if you want?

riverboat Sun 27-Oct-13 17:04:52

Well if I ever had any thoughts of doing the CAPES that's changed my mind! I didn't realise you had to go wherever they sent you. Wouldn't be possible for me as DP has DSS and obviously isn't going to go and live halfway across the country from where his son lives.

Does anyone know anything about the process for becoming an English teacher in the public university sector? I know it's easy enough to pick up work in the universities as a vacataire, but what would be required to get a permanent position?

AuldAlliance Tue 29-Oct-13 17:30:10

To get a permanent position in a University you either need a concours (CAPES, preferably Agrégation) or a PhD, often both in reality as jobs are getting ever more scarce due to budget cuts (we regularly have 80 applications for one lecturer position, all from candidates with the CAPES, a vast majority with the Agrég, and all with a PhD.
Without those, you're condemned to vacations, with all the strings and unreliable pay that entails.
You can get a one year contract as a Maître de Langue, renewable once, but not a tenured position.
Jobs for life come with nasty strings attached...

You may get a few more points for having kids, but it's unlikely to allow you to remain in an Académie that is sought after.

NomDeClavier Wed 30-Oct-13 18:59:23

Just in case any local French MNers haven't seen - http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/1896971-Missing-Gransnet-Member-French-alps

EmilyAlice Thu 31-Oct-13 06:58:52

The story of the missing Gransnet member, Carol Sheridan, is getting lots of coverage on forums and Facebook. It would be really useful to know from anyone in or near the Haute Savoie whether the local French press is covering the story? Carol stays in close contact with her daughter in New Zealand and has not been in contact since Saturday. This is what makes it so worrying. She does a lot of walking in wild and remote areas of the French alps.

tb Thu 31-Oct-13 10:44:03

I hope she's ok - I've known her on totalfrance and frenchentree for about 10 years.

riverboat Thu 31-Oct-13 10:46:56

I'm afraid I'm nowhere near that area and I don't have any contacts there. I just did a google.fr news search for her name though, and nothing came up...

castlesintheair Thu 07-Nov-13 08:49:25

Does anyone know if the bank holiday on Monday means that the schools are closed in France? I haven't seen or heard anything from either of our schools. Thanks.

AuldAlliance Thu 07-Nov-13 08:55:04

Schools are shut.

Where we are, collèges are apparently open on Wed to catch up some "pont" or other, but primary/maternelles are not. Worth checking.

There is a strike planned in primary/maternelles on Thurs 14th, I believe, to protest against the "réforme des rythmes scolaires." Given the shambles of how the reform has been implemented, it'll probably be quite a big strike...

Bonsoir Thu 07-Nov-13 08:57:32

In Paris the idea is for parents to keep their DC off primary school and maternelle on Wednesday 13 in protest at the shambolic réformes. No school on Monday anywhere - it's a national holiday.

castlesintheair Thu 07-Nov-13 09:07:16

Ah, brilliant. Thanks! Interesting about the strike/protests. I've not heard anything about that either but my DDs' primary is not affected by the "réforme des rythmes scolaires" yet so that is probably why.

AuldAlliance Thu 07-Nov-13 09:10:58

Yes, sorry - the reform has not hit us yet, forgot to specify that.
I think things will vary a lot from one place to the next.
Apart from 11/11, which will be a holiday everywhere.

NomDeClavier Thu 07-Nov-13 10:07:07

Nonononono there can't be a strike on the 14th! That means there will no crèche and if there is no crèche I am screwed. Unless I can bribe my pet English language assistant to babysit because if schools are striking she'll be free....

frozentree Thu 07-Nov-13 10:29:29

Quite interesting chat about the school reforms at our village meeting last week. Apparently most parents want school on Wednesday (makes sense to me, local college is already in on Wednesday), the mairie wants Saturday (as it's cheaper, no cantine, garderie etc.) but nothing has yet been decided. The parents association has asked parents but nothing has come from the mairie.

So the gossip is that the mairie will deliberately miss the December cutoff date for deciding; it will then go directly to the Academie at Versailles who will decide for our village and then the mairie can claim the decision was not theirs if it turns out to be Saturday, and take all the credit if it turns out to be a Wednesday.

It's such a mess, terrible to say but I am so glad that my youngest daughter is in CM1 and will only have 1 year of what ever gets decided..

AuldAlliance Thu 07-Nov-13 12:29:22

Nom, the strike is by professeurs des écoles.
Not sure that would affect a crèche, would it?

Bonsoir Thu 07-Nov-13 19:04:11

Hmm. As usual, politics, not child development, is deciding the fate of children's schooling.

I don't know why French schools can't do 8:30 to 15:00 every day...

riverboat Thu 07-Nov-13 21:21:18

Luckily DSS's school has decided to do Wednesdays instead of Saturdays, his mother has told me. He's in a south west Paris suburb.

It would be a disaster for us if he had to go into school on Saturdays. At the moment we have him eow Thursday evening - Monday morning. This is just about doable in terms of drop offs / pick offs, even though it means DP has to do shorter work days on Thursday and Friday and do a lot of driving as DSS's school is a 45 minute drive away from us, sometimes more in traffic. If DSS had to go into school on Saturdays as well it would hugely cut into his weekends with us, reduce the time he and DP got to spend together and mean that even MORE time was spent driving back and forth in the horrendous Ile de France traffic...

riverboat Thu 07-Nov-13 21:22:04

Oops, south east Paris suburb for what it's worth.

AuldAlliance Thu 07-Nov-13 21:29:41

Beyond the issue of which day the children have school, the funds, facilities and staff for the extra-curricular activities vary wildly from one municipality to another.
I have colleagues who teach in maternelle/primary in deprived suburbs of Marseille and they are pretty certain that the extra hours will not be devoted in any way to activities. It will just be garderie for all, for which there are no rooms other than classrooms.

In many places where the reform has been implemented, school time is not any shorter, just more disorganised and unpredictable, which is particularly damaging for the DC.

8:30-3pm Mon-Fri is a good idea, but in reality working conditions and salaries for women here mean that more kids would simply be at the garderie every day, and that certainly isn't where they enjoy relaxed, fruitful conditions for any activities, IME.

On another topic, I've just been invited to come along and watch Ayrault inaugurate a daft building at work tomorrow...

Bonsoir Thu 07-Nov-13 22:03:15

DC the world over are, sadly, in inadequate childcare after school. But I am not sure why it is worse to be in the garderie every day after school ends at 15:00 than to be in Centre de Loisirs all day on Wednesday and in the garderie after school from 16:00. At least school from Mon to Fri inclusive, 8:30 to 15:00, would provide routine for pupils and teachers alike.

pinkhousesarebest Fri 08-Nov-13 19:27:17

We live in a pretty affluent commune, boosted by the happy arrival of some outrageously overpaid footballers, and the range of activities and sports offered to the dcs on a Wednesday morning is staggering. When I work on a Wednesday, dd has two activities done by the time I pick her up for lunch. But even they are struggling with the huge burden that next years changes will bring, and warning that there will have to be a price hike to pay for them. I have just seen in one of the local papers that two communes have refused to comply and are sticking to the four days.
Interesting to hear of the boycott on Wednesday Bonsoir. I may follow suit as dd will miss her beloved riding lesson otherwise.

AuldAlliance Fri 08-Nov-13 20:22:28

Bonsoir, I think that having school over 4 days makes for easy part-time working hours for mothers: in many places it means women just don't work on Wednedays, and that ties in with having an 80% workload, which for fonctionnaires and several other categories is standard part-time post-children. It's more complicated to have women working five days a week but finishing before 3pm, because then you need cover for a few hours at the end of five days rather than someone to work a full day on a Wed.
That's why I think it'll mean more kids in garderie. I'm not suggesting that a 4-day week is necessarily preferable, just that that is one consequence of changing to 5 x 8:30-3.

I don't see why the 2-hr lunchbreak couldn't be reduced, TBH.

Pinkhouses, that sounds about right. Small rural or poorer urban communes just can't afford activities; there's been quite a bit of feedback recounting that in places kids are just hanging around school waiting for the day to end because there are no funds for activities or intervenants to lead them. DC in richer areas will increase their already considerable privileges to the detriment of those who are already disadvantaged.

Bonsoir Sat 09-Nov-13 10:45:12

Here in Paris my friends with DC at state primaries feel their DCs' privileges have been undermined by the changed timetable because it is harder to participate in the wide range of activities available outside school than it was when there was a 4-day week. The stuff done at school is of no interest at all.

pinkhousesarebest Sat 09-Nov-13 12:13:29

Yes totally agree Bonsoir. Most mums here don't work on Wednesday, so are free to ferry kids around from activity to activity. But there will be few and far between who will be available after school at half three the other days. The children will languish in étude instead. Unless the ladies all become sahm ( and leave the jobs to the men wink.) Would that improve unemployment figures I wonder?

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