43% authorities switch back to four-day school week

Parent and child walking into school
Local authorities in the west and southwest are sticking with the new four-and-a-half-day school week

Mayors' association says many communities had struggled to implement earlier reforms

More than 43% of local authorities opted to return to the four-day school week from the start of the current school year, an Association des maires de France (AMF) study has found.

The government of President Emmanuel Macron opted to relax the school calendar, and allow local authorities to decide whether to stick with the four-and-a-half-day week that was implemented in September 2016, or return to the four-day week that had previously been adopted.

The chance to return to the four-day week, "met the expectations of a number of communities that had been facing persistent difficulties" implementing the earlier reform, the AMF said in a statement.

It has produced an interactive map of the 21,735 municipalities that have at least one public school to demonstrate large disparities across the regions.

interative map of france showing schools operating a four-day week

The option to return to the four-day week has been taken up most strongly in the north, east and southeast of the country, while the west and southwest has, on the whole, preferred to stick with the four-and-a-half-day calendar that was implemented last September.

The AMF said it would conduct a new survey to find out the reasons for decisions of each local authority. It said the results of that study will be revealed at the Mayors' Congress on November 22.


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