The galley of private school students who want to join a public high school: “All my friends have returned to school except me”

TESTIMONIALS – More than a week after the start of the school year, many students remain without an establishment. A distressing situation for these students for whom school is still compulsory.

While 12 million students joined their classes on September 1, Arthur * did not find his classmates. A “stressful” situation for both the teenager, but also for his mother, Pascale *. “I naively thought it was just a formality,” she laments. This Ile-de-France mother is still looking for a public high school in which to enroll her son. The 16-year-old teenager was about to go to first class. However, his three previous years spent in a private establishment under contract outside Ile-de-France, seem to complicate his search.

“I am so helpless by dint of writing to elected officials, phoning National Education, the region […] I never got an answer”Pascale, mother of Arthur

“I am so helpless by dint of writing to elected officials, phoning National Education, the region […] I never had an answer”, continues Arthur’s mother at the end of her tether. Since June 16, Pascale has been trying to enroll her son in their local high school, which ended up refusing their request, for lack of places. Despite the holding of an academic commission at the rectorate on August 25, Arthur has not been assigned any establishment. Same story with Alexia G., the mother of Romain *, who does not understand why no high school has been assigned to him, “while he is 15 years old and school is still compulsory”.

Public students have priority

The difficulties encountered by these young people, from the private sector, in re-entering the public sector are frequent, according to Bruno Bobkiewicz, secretary general of the National Union of National Education Department staff (SNPDEN). According to him, this is explained by the fact that “the pupils of the public are priority”. However, the law wants that “the public school can accommodate all the pupils residing in the sector, even if they come from the private sector”, he recalls.

Technological and professional pathways are in high demand

This phenomenon, essentially Ile-de-France, is difficult to quantify because “the figures change every day”, we explain to the Academy of Versailles. But one thing is certain, some sectors are more under pressure, such as technological and professional paths. Their unexpected success is the result of a “campaign” which aimed to encourage young people not to neglect these courses, says Ghislaine Morvan-Dubois, president of the Federation of Parents of Students in France (FCPE). “Places therefore had to be opened”, to meet the requests of “more than 200 students […] schooled since,” she says. In the general streams, it is the first and final year classes that are most in demand, “because we have more repeaters because of worse results than those of last year at the baccalaureate”, testifies Ghislaine Morvan-Dubois.

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Specialties complicate the situation

The choice of specialties from the first is also a major factor in the assignment of a pupil in an establishment. Not all high schools offer the same subjects, which pushes some high school students to leave private for the public. However, “we cannot respond uniformly” to these requests, resolves Bruno Bobkiewicz. Even if the applications are studied on a case-by-case basis, “sometimes we have places but which do not correspond to the student’s request”, he adds. While young people are still at home, without an establishment, Ghislaine Morvan-Dubois confides that she is “in regular contact with the rectorate” in order to resolve these inconveniences. The president of the FCPE ensures that “young people are affected continuously”. Same return on the side of the academies of Versailles and Paris.

Young people are falling behind schedule

This stressful situation has repercussions on the psychological state of these students, placed on the sidelines. Anxiety reigns in Pascale and her son Arthur: “My son is at home depressed. He no longer eats, no longer moves and asks me seven times a day if I have had an answer”. For Arthur, “inaction [des institutions ndlr]and “the fact of not having a deadline”, is difficult to manage. For Mathis*, the son of Alexia G., misunderstanding dominates: “All my friends have gone back to school except me, I find it hard to understand”. This time, wasted waiting for an assignment, also has academic consequences since teenagers fall behind in the program. Socially, arriving more than two weeks after the start of the school year also complicates the student’s integration: “If I am not sent to my sector high school, I will not know anyone”saddens Arthur.

“I contacted the Hattemer courses where the year costs between 10 and 15,000 euros per year” Alexia

Faced with the depression of their children and the urgency of the situation, the parents are ready to do anything to find a solution. “I looked all over the place,” exclaims Alexia. After having chained the refusals, the mother of Mathis even fell back to the private sector: “I contacted the Hattemer courses where the year costs between 10 and 15,000 euros per year […], I even offered to make him repeat”. Contacted by Le Figaro, the Hattemer school confirms receiving calls from “a little confused and worried” parents, who are not satisfied with the establishment in which their child has been assigned, in particular because of the absence of the desired specialties. . But then, what is the solution to avoid this stress at the start of the school year? “Never leave the public” or “come back from the second”, proclaim in heart the SNPDEN and the FCPE.

*Name has been changed.


SEE ALSO – “The real question of the start of the school year is that of the crisis in the recruitment of teachers”, insists Aude Bariéty

The galley of private school students who want to join a public high school: “All my friends have returned to school except me”