What a difference a half-day makes...

Emmanuelle Cuny Deputy Mayor of Bordeaux responsible of education
Bordeaux deputy mayor Emmanuelle Cuny said change ‘not money-driven’

Primary schools nationwide will open for either a four or a four-and-a-half day week from this year’s rentrée in September and where you live will decide your child’s school week, as the final decision is made by your commune and not national authorities.

Over the past few years the school week has changed several times as successive ministers introduced reforms aimed at creating a timetable better adapted to children.

France has long holidays but, to compensate, children work more hours in a week than in other European countries.

They work 24 hours in France, 19 in Finland, 15-20 depending on age in Germany and 21-25 depending on age in the UK. Other countries have five day weeks, with most schooling being done in the morning.

Up until 2008, primary children went to school four-and-a-half days a week, and the half day was either a Wednes­day or a Saturday morning. In 2008, a four-day week was introduced with school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

This changed again in 2013, with the 24 hours a week of school split between nine half days, with the ‘extra’ half day on ...

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