Home » France » France – Education and Schools

France – Education and Schools

Quality of Education in France

Education in France is considered to be of a high standard. The country has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence, and French universities are renowned for their quality of research. However, there are some concerns about the country’s education system, particularly in terms of inequality and access to higher education.

Compulsory Education Age in France

Education in France is compulsory from the ages of six to 16 years old.

Types of Schools in France

In France, there are several types of schools, including:

1. Écoles Maternelles

Écoles maternelles are preschools that provide education for children aged three to five years old. These schools are free and funded by the government. Écoles maternelles focus on play-based learning and aim to help children develop their social and cognitive skills.

2. Écoles Primaires


Get Our Best Articles Every Month!

Get our free moving abroad email course AND our top stories in your inbox every month


Unsubscribe any time. We respect your privacy - read our privacy policy.


Écoles primaires are primary schools that provide education for children aged six to 11 years old. These schools are free and funded by the government. Écoles primaires cover a range of subjects, including mathematics, science, language, social studies, physical education, and art.

3. Collèges

Collèges are lower secondary schools that provide education for students aged 11 to 15 years old. These schools are free and funded by the government. Collèges cover a range of subjects, including mathematics, science, language, social studies, physical education, and art.

4. Lycées

Lycées are upper secondary schools that provide education for students aged 15 to 18 years old. These schools offer a more specialized education and prepare students for higher education or vocational training. Lycées offer a range of tracks, including science, social science, and humanities.

5. Private Schools

Private schools in France are funded by tuition fees and often provide a higher quality of education than public schools. Private schools are more common in urban areas and tend to be more expensive than public schools.

6. International Schools

International schools in France offer instruction in English and follow an international curriculum. These schools are mainly aimed at expatriate families or French families who plan to study abroad.

Syllabus and Qualifications in France

In France, schools follow a national curriculum set by the Ministry of Education. Primary and lower secondary education covers a range of subjects, including mathematics, science, language, social studies, physical education, and art. Upper secondary education includes additional subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, and foreign languages.

At the end of upper secondary education, students take the Baccalauréat Examination, which determines whether they can go on to university. Students who pass the examination are awarded a Baccalauréat diploma.

School Hours and Holidays in France

The typical school day in France starts at 8:30 am and ends at 4:30 pm. However, some schools may have different schedules. Primary school students attend school from Monday to Friday, while upper secondary and vocational school students attend school from Monday to Saturday.

The school year in France runs from September to July, with breaks for autumn, winter, and spring holidays.

Enrolling in a School in France

To enroll in a school in France, students must provide a copy of their birth certificate or passport, a health certificate, and proof of address. In some cases, students may also need to provide academic records from their previous school.

Enrollment in public schools is generally straightforward, but there may be more competition for enrollment in private schools and international schools.

International Schools in France

There are several international schools in France, including:

These schools offer an international curriculum and instruction in English.

Higher Education in France

France has a wide range of higher education institutions, including universities, grandes écoles, and vocational schools. The most prestigious universities in France are:

  • Sorbonne University
  • École Normale Supérieure
  • Paris Sciences et Lettres University
  • École Polytechnique

These universities offer a range of degree programs, including engineering, medicine, law, and social sciences.

In addition to traditional universities, France also has a network of grandes écoles that offer specialized training in fields such as engineering, business, and politics. These schools are highly selective and often require students to pass a rigorous entrance examination.

To enroll in higher education in France, students must typically have completed upper secondary education and passed the Baccalauréat Examination.

Education in France is highly valued and the country has a long-standing tradition of academic excellence. The French education system offers a variety of school options, including écoles maternelles, écoles primaires, collèges, lycées, private schools, and international schools. The country also has several options for higher education, including universities, grandes écoles, and vocational schools. While the education system in France is not without its challenges, it continues to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of students and society.


Latest Videos

Expat Focus Financial Update February 2024 #expat #expatlife

Expat Focus 28 February 2024 2:53 pm

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins

Important: No API Key Entered.

Many features are not available without adding an API Key. Please go to the YouTube Feeds settings page to add an API key after following these instructions.