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The French education system


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If you have children and are moving to France our guide to the French education system will help you with the choices available to you if you choose not to leave the kids back home to complete their education.

Education is compulsory in France from the ages of 6 to 16, but many children start school before the minimum age, often as young as two years old, and around half of all 18-21 year olds in France stay in full-time education, or undertake a vocational training course.

More than two thirds of French school children complete their secondary education, and take the high-school leaving certificate examinations, known as the baccalauréat or the baccalauréat professionnel.

Education in France is free but students do have to buy their own text books and stationery.  Education is taken very seriously and the emphasis is on hard work – competition is fierce among pupils.

Truancy is taken seriously in France and can result in criminal sanctions being bought against parents who have not worked with the school to resolve issues.

You can find lots of information on the education.gouv.fr website about schools, the process for sending a child to school and helpful parental guides to help your child make the most of his or her education. 

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