Schools close as teachers strike over reforms

Reforms include plans to group elementary, primary and middle schools in one administrative entity

Many schools across France were closed on Thursday, as teachers walked out on strike in protest over government education reforms.

Teaching unions and parents' associations are furious at far-reaching Loi Blanquer reforms to France's school system, which were voted through parliament in February.

The FSU teachers' union has called on its members to "mobilise against this education policy that is retrograde and market-oriented, and which is being rammed through with complete disregard for their professional expertise and which already been condemned by the entire educational community."

The “Loi Blanquer” - named after Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer - has to be approved by the Senate. If it is, the changes will take effect at the start of the next school year in September.

The new measures will affect pupils from écoles maternelles, écoles primaires, and collèges.

The latest reforms include plans to group elementary, primary and middle schools in one administrative entity, with the collège director responsible for all three establishments.

Unions and parents say that losing head teachers at écoles maternelles, écoles primaires will ruin the relationship parents had with primary schools heads. There are also concerns that certain nursery and primary schools will close, especially in rural areas.

Lycèe reforms have already been pushed through.

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