Respect for the Principle of Secularism in Schools: Reassessing the Action of the Republic’s Values ​​Teams

The principle of secularism is at the heart of the Republic’s values ​​and is the foundation of the French education system. With freedom, equality and fraternity, secularism makes it possible to make the school a place protected from all ideological, economic and religious proselytism. The transmission of these republican principles is at the heart of the school’s missions and all National Education employees participate in it.

The ministry is deploying various resources at the national and academic levels to bring these values ​​to life from kindergarten through high school. Among them are the Values ​​of the Republic teams (EAVR, installed in all academies, provide the necessary help and support to educational teams to enforce the principle of secularism in schools. These teams act on reports from school leaders and heads of 2nd degree institutions or when referred to staff by the reporting platform. Quarterly feedback from the teams EAVR make it possible to make a quantitative and qualitative inventory of the attacks on secularism and the reactions to them.

Balance sheet items for the period from December 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022

  • 627 reports of violations of the secularism principle were registered, ie 9 fewer than during the last report in December 2021 (see graph on page 2).

Where ?

  • 50% of the facts recorded in colleges (=)
  • 28% in secondary schools (+ 1 point)
  • 22% in the first degree (-1 point)

That ?

  • 82% of the students (+ 1 point)
  • 7% of students’ parents (- 2 points)
  • 6% of the staff (+ 1 point)
  • 5% other (- 3 points)

What ?

  • 22% for wearing plates and outfits (+7 points)
  • 13% for suspected proselytism (+ 6 points)
  • 10% for education disputes (- 2 points)
  • 8% for refusals of school activities (- 2 points)
  • 16% for verbal provocations (- 8 points)
  • 5% for community claims (=)
  • 4% for demonstrations of refusal of the values ​​of the Republic (-3 points)
  • In addition, 21% are not categorized (various claims, dispute of equality between girls and boys, etc.)

NB: all brackets show the difference from the results of the previous feedback

Evolution of the number of reported incidents since January 2018

In addition, 321 requests for advice from academic teams were registered, an increase of 10%, reflecting the vigilance and anticipation of institution heads, school principals and inspectors in this area. In this preventive framework, EAVR carried out approximately 60 visits to branches and 312 tailor-made training courses.

This report marks a stabilization in the number of reports compared to the previous quarter. Two and a half years after the attack on Samuel pattythe reporting culture now seems to be an integral part of the functioning of schools and institutions and is becoming increasingly well known among the staff.
From the start of the school year in September 2022, the Ministry of National Education and Youth will publish a monthly report on the action of the Values ​​of the Republic teams.

The category of wearing signs and outfits, with 139 facts, becomes the majority and represents 22% of the reports (+ 7 points). Several elements can explain this: an expression of identity in the context of elections; recurrences after the month of Ramadan; incentives to test the institution and digital challenges. However, this share does not reach the maximum observed in September 2019 (25% of the 288 reported attacks).

the teams EAVR then intervened directly with the families to support the principal and provide targeted responses such as academic meetings of managers, information for school principals, link with the prefectures, setting up a group work, e.g. on motivation for blindfolding for medical reasons.

As for the challenges of the teachings, these are mainly concentrated in the university and have decreased in general (from 142 to 114 facts) with, for example, refusals to read Harry Potter, or Bilbo the Hobbit, at school and refusals of swimming lessons in college.

During this period, 97% of attacks were treated with the support of the teams EAVR† The other situations were supervised independently by the school and location teams.

Reminder of the complete system set up to assist the personnel in attacks on the values ​​of the Republic

As a reminder, the complete system set up to concretely assist the staff in attacks on the values ​​of the Republic includes:

  • A Council of Elders bringing together experts in the field of secularism;
  • A national secularism team supporting the academies;
  • A Republic Values ​​team in every academy;
  • A referral address allows any national education staff to contact the national secularism team directly, which commits to contacting the person concerned within 24 hours.

All systems have been organized on a sovereign square in each rectorate since the start of the 2021 school year. The aim is to join forces in four strategic areas: protecting and promoting the values ​​of the Republic; fight against separatism and radicalisation; fight against school violence and the fight against bullying. In each of these areas, the teams closely monitor the reports and ensure a rapid response to any outbreak of conflict.

At the same time, at the beginning of the 2021 school year, a permanent staff training plan was launched with 1,000 trainers from all academies and all departments benefiting from 60 hours of enhanced and intensive training.

This network of 1,000 trainers then organizes training each year for 250,000 employees in every school, college or secondary school, regardless of their status. A referee is then appointed within each structure, who will be the interlocutor of his colleagues and the academic values ​​teams of the Republic. The goal is to train 1 million employees in four years.

All these promotions can be accessed on Eduscol

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