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French schools

(17 Posts)
1dilemma Tue 23-Jun-09 12:31:37

Just trying to think something through.....
Can anyone tell me what is the usual/maximum class size? City type area Does the government limit it?

Are there any hoops you need to go through to register? eg produce vaccination certificates/residence card?

Are there problems wiht places?

How are they with non-French speaking children (English speaking)

frAKKINPannikin Tue 23-Jun-09 19:47:55

You need to tick boxes for vaccination - they could ask to see the certificate I suppose. You'll need special insurance. They will want to see proof of residence: housing contract, EDF bill, tax statement etc.

Some schools can be in demand - the school at the end of my road has a waiting list a mile long.

Classes sizes are often fairly large - from what I've seen around here 30 is about the norm. That's central Paris.

How they are with non-francophone children depends on the area. Some schools will run classes/provide extra support for non-francophones to catch up, others chuck them in at the deep end. How old are your children? If they're young then they may be okay just entering the french system and picking it up.

duchesse Tue 23-Jun-09 19:52:47

Although apparently re vaccinations you can have the children "vaccinated" homeopathically in most académies.

1dilemma Tue 23-Jun-09 23:24:31

Thanks can you explian the insurance bit what do I need insurance for?

What to do about the tax statement if you've just moved there?

EldonAve Wed 24-Jun-09 10:32:49

some info here

Othersideofthechannel Wed 24-Jun-09 20:55:23

The insurance is for public liability (included in your home insurance policy) in case you child damages school property or injures another child. Some schools require personal accident insurance (extra on your home insurance policy) or you can take out the schools policy.
It's not expensive - less than 20 euros a yr per child.

Othersideofthechannel Wed 24-Jun-09 20:56:48

Class sizes range from 18 - 29 in our local village school.

Weta Wed 24-Jun-09 21:22:34

Our class size was 32 max although this was a private Catholic school. The local state school took up to 27 but I think it may have been smaller because it was a lower socio-economic area.

Places - I think it depends on where you are. I know for our Catholic school we had to call in January for an appointment in April to get a place in September (starting maternelle though it may be different if starting during the year). For the state school I think you had to register in about March.

My kids speak French so not sure about that one...

castille Wed 24-Jun-09 21:30:44

State schools have to take all the children who live in their catchment that enrol there (at any time of year), so they juggle with numbers, opening and closing classes each year and having mixed-year classes if necessary to ensure classes aren't too overloaded.

You shouldn't need tax statements if you're enrolling them in a state school.

castille Wed 24-Jun-09 21:32:39

As for non French-speaking children, things vary hugely. Some will provide extra French lessons and classroom support, some don't do anything special. Ask when you visit.

Where do you/are you planning to live?

AuldAlliance Thu 25-Jun-09 00:45:15

What level of school? Classes get bigger the older the kids are...
In the state sector, they accept kids after the official registration period, because people often move house following job transfers, etc., so they expect numbers to fluctuate a bit.

1dilemma Thu 25-Jun-09 01:31:52

Thanks all

It would be state, various levels of primary, probably Paris and probably for a term only!

We would not be going with any level of assistance/transfer package etc.
So can I just clarify if I turn up at my local school on the first day of term then they will offer all my children a place (within a week or 2 of paperwork I guess) once I have this insurance thingy, which presumably they will tell me where to get?

I shall have to find the site for english speakers living in Paris and look on there I guess.

AuldAlliance Thu 25-Jun-09 07:40:50

If you turn up they will be taken aback and won't be expecting your DC.
Better contact the mairie once you know where you'll be living and enroll your kids.

frAKKINPannikin Thu 25-Jun-09 08:33:55

Whereabouts in Paris do you plan to live? Centre or more suburbs? (I live in the 7th arrondissement).

Are you planning to be there for September? If so, you need to remember that Paris virtually shuts in August and you just won't be able to get anything done!

I agree to contact the mairie but be aware some schools do have limitations on size in terms of the number of children they can physically accomodate, particularly in Paris, and catchment areas can overlap so your local school may not be your nearest. So you need to know where to go! Does that make sense?

frAKKINPannikin Thu 25-Jun-09 08:36:47

Site for English speakers in Paris: AngloInfo

olatt Thu 16-Jul-09 18:36:29

I don't want to hijack (much!) but was wondering whether anyone knows if there is an equivalent to Ofsted you can contact to find out what schools are like?

frAKKINPannikin Thu 16-Jul-09 22:57:04

The French don't 'do' rankings in the same way OFSTED do.

Theoretically all state schools are equal (but the better the area the better the school). Word of mouth seems to be the way to find out whether it's a nice/good school or not.

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