top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

More pupils are at private school in France than in UK

More pupils are at private school in France than in UK THE French school system seems more egalitarian than the one in the UK, where there is still a big divide between those who have had a private education and those who go through the state system. Is this because the French prefer to use state rather than private schools? E.P.

The difference is similar to the way the health systems work – and, in fact, there is a large private sector in France but it is mostly integrated into the state framework. In the case of education the fees are heavily subsidised by the state in the vast majority of cases.

Subsidised schools are known as sous contrat meaning that they have a contract with the state and follow the usual national curriculum and take the standard exams.

About 17% of children go private in France and, of these, around 97% attend sous contrat schools (around 7% of pupils attend private schools in the UK).

In these schools teachers are paid by the state and the school receives money for its running from local authorities. They cannot discriminate on entry by faith, however the majority are run by the Catholic church and they are allowed to provide some religious education (the cost of which is excluded from the state grants). This means that fees are low – less than €1,000 a year and often variable according to means.

A few schools are hors contrat (not contracted). They have more freedom in the teaching and exams offered and are fully private in the British sense. These include ‘international schools’, where lessons can be in English and the exam sat is typically the International Baccalaureate.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now