‘We will go back to five-day week’

The new education minister has announced that primary schools will revert to classes on Saturday or Wednesday mornings

17 May 2012

PRIMARY schools will go back to a five-day week, the new education minister has said.

Vincent Peillon said on France Inter that he wanted a return to the old pre-2008 system by next year’s rentrée (ie. September 2013).

“It’s not exactly simple, but we will do it,” he said.

He said local mairies would have the choice between making the extra morning either Wednesday or Saturday.

The axing of Saturday morning school in 2008 led to longer school days on the remaining days. This has since been criticised as tiring for the children by a leading parents’ association (FCPE), the national Academy of Medicine and in a parliamentary report.

Nonetheless a government poll among 5,000 parents and school staff last year found only 33% wanted to change the four-day week.

Mr Peillon said discussions would take place this summer in order for a law to be presented to parliament in the autumn.

He added he would be meeting with local education authority heads in order to work out the deployment of an extra 1,000 primary school teachers from this year’s rentrée – part of President Hollande’s promise to reverse the Sarkozy government policy of repeated teacher cuts.

Photo: Chlorophylle

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