Schools in France are headed by the French National Ministry of Education. It is the Ministry that defines educational goals, programs, levels of diplomas, and appoints teachers. It mandates the number of hours elementary and secondary school students must spend in each subject at each grade level. For each subject, it outlines both general principles of instruction and specific concepts to be mastered. All students regardless of ability and achievement take the same national curriculum during their first five years of elementary school and the first two years of lower secondary school (the same ...view middle of the document...
Primary schools have an average class size of 23, lower secondary has an average of 25, and upper secondary has an average size of 22 in the public schools
The basic requirement for primary and secondary teachers is a 3- year university degree. After obtaining their degree, teachers must pass competitive examinatioStudents can earn the lower secondary diploma, brevet de college, at the completion of ninth grade. In order to earn this diploma, students must meet two requirements: complete four years of nationally prescribed common courses in the general track of lower secondary school, and sit for brevet exams in French, math, and history/geography. The diploma awarded is based in exam results and classroom performance in all subjects the last two years of lower secondary school. Students therefore have high motivation to take their coursework seriously since their course grades are of much importance in earning a diploma. Although the diploma itself is not a formal requirement, 90% of students take the exam. It appears that students must achieve a level of performance in their coursework equivalent to passing the exam if they wish to continue in the academic track at upper secondary schools
Once in an academic track in upper secondary school, students have 3 more