Absence of social diversity at school: the overwhelming observation of Unsa

the essential
On October 17, the Ministry of National Education published the Social Position Indexes (IPS) of public and private schools and colleges under contract. This tool measures the social situation of students with regard to learning in French schools. The Aude department would encounter significant “school segregation” according to the Unsa union.

On October 17, for the first time and following a court decision, the Ministry of National Education published the Social Position Indexes (IPS) of each public and private school and college under contract. The higher the index, the more the establishment welcomes a privileged school population.

Result: the lack of social diversity is progressing in France and in particular in the department of Aude. Anne Marty, departmental secretary of the Unsa teachers’ union, makes the painful observation. “VSIt’s not surprising when you know that Aude is the second poorest department in France. We suspected it as professionals of the National Education but we did not have precise figures to support it.

The national average of the IPS of the college level amounts to 103.3 against 97.4 for Aude. In the department, the average of the IPS of the five private colleges under contract is 107.7 contrary to the average of the 28 public colleges which is 95.5.

Rémy Sirvent, national secretary of the same union, summarizes the situation. “Private education mainly welcomes pupils from privileged social backgrounds. For example, there is no SEGPA class (Adapted General and Vocational Education Section) in private colleges. He adds : “The central role of private education in the social segregation of school is an open secret, all actors in the education system are aware of it.” In the Aude, the three most socially selective colleges, according to the figures, are the private colleges Jeanne-d’Arc in Carcassonne and Castelnaudary (118.2 each) and the private college institution Sevigné in Narbonne (110.7).

Higher GPI for religious and language schools

The national GPI average at the primary level is 102.7. The department is below with 98.4. Once again, the private sector is more selective because the average IPS of the 14 private schools under Aude contract is 112.6 and that of the 214 public primary and elementary schools is 97.5.

The three most selective schools, still according to figures published by the National Education, are the private schools Saint-Michel and the Calandreta Ciutat in Carcassonne (124.1 and 123.2) and the private school Calandreta Lo Becarut in Sigean (122.4). Calandreta schools are bilingual French-Occitan establishments. “Private schools with religious and linguistic contracts have higher GPI rates”, explains the national secretary. It completes: “For schools that practice Occitan, 35 school teachers have passed the Occitan exam and 81 have the accreditation. More than 100 people can therefore practice but there are few requests. We can therefore wonder if the real reason for schooling in these language schools is not social selection.”

In the Aude, the schools with the lowest GPI are the Marcel-Pagnol and Jules-Ferry elementary schools in Carcassonne (71.1 and 67.3) as well as the Aiguille elementary school in Trèbes (65 ,8). “These schools are not classified as priority education. We must give them the means to do more for the students and to upgrade the staff to the same stage as those of the REPs. (Priority education network, editor’s note). The public authorities and the National Education must act for the unworthy situation in Trèbes, this school is a ghetto”, evaluates Rémy Sirvent.

A gap of “40 points” just 600 meters away

In Carcassonne, the difference between the schools “is blatant”. “There is a gap of 40 points between the elementary school Isly (110.8) and Marcel-Pagnol (71.1) while only 600 meters separate them. However, the town halls grant the same operating expenses to all schools”he observes.

The situation “most striking” remains in Narbonne according to the national secretary. Indeed, the Françoise-de-Cezelli primary school has an IPS of 110.7 while the Montmorency school, 160 meters from it, is 83.2. “For these two cases, we will ask the authorities if it is a problem of sectorization or derogation, or even both”confirms Rémy Sirvent. “It should be noted that 73% of the resources of private schools come from public money”he says.

And the national secretary of Unsa to conclude: “Mixing students regardless of their social origin promotes academic success and secularism, because in segregated schools and colleges, religious claims are stronger. We ask that this subject be made a priority in our department”. Anne Marty adds: “We have to work on the sectorization so that it is fairer”.

Absence of social diversity at school: the overwhelming observation of Unsa