Near Rambouillet, Hériot, “the school of the last chance” closes its doors

Thursday, July 7, was the last outing of the lessons, all about emotion, for the children of the ERPD Hériot and their teachers. (©RP)

In front of the first grade regional school (ERPD) Hériot, at Boissiere-Schoolnear Rambouillet, in the Yvelines, On Thursday 7 July, the teachers will take the students in their arms one last time.

Every year the school holidays sound like a little heartbreak for the team of teachers. Some CM2 students go on to college, but most return at the beginning of the next school year.

“It’s heartbreaking”

That will not be the case this year. Neither the students nor the teachers will set foot in the establishment. The Hériot ERPD closes its doors.

We have been crying all the tears in our body since yesterday. We feel that we are leaving something behind against our will, of having to separate from a family.

A teacher, on condition of anonymity.

“It’s really heartbreaking,” said a member of the teaching team who guides the children to their families. His colleague, on the verge of tears, agrees. “It’s indescribable, it’s heartbreaking. We have been crying all the tears in our body since yesterday. We feel that we are leaving something behind against our will, of having to separate from a family. A “family” that has known each other for years. “Here some have had children, are married, divorced. For some, it’s been over 30 years! †

Built in 1886 to accommodate military orphans, the establishment has always welcomed children. In 1966 it came under the supervision of the Ministry ofNational education for become an ERPD in 1986

The commotion is being felt by teachers and students alike. “I will miss it. It is a school that I am very attached to,” says one pupil. She has just completed her year of CM1 and is returning to CM2 at the ERPD of La Verrière.

“I started here in first grade. I had many good memories, I will remember them for a long time. It’s a shame that other people can’t go,” says Timothé.

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Some of the students moved to La Verrière

In France there are eight ERPDs. Three of them are located in Yvelines. However, they do not provide the same support or environment according to the teaching team.

of the 20 students trained at La Boissière-Ecole, 14 are making their next comeback at the ERPD de la Verrière

“It’s something completely different, it has nothing to do with it. It’s not the same educational project,” complains Marie-Laure Ortolland. There her daughter will receive education in CM2 at the beginning of next school year.

The ERPD Hériot welcomes students in difficulty, they are cared for all week in the boarding school.

“The children who are here come because there is a real need. At school level, socially, there are many shortcomings that we try to address,” says one of the team members.

They spend the day in class with their teachers. In the evening the boarding school teachers take over until the next day. “It is an added value. At La Verrière, for example, it is teaching assistants (AED) who come to work at night, so there is not the same follow-up,” regrets a member of the team.

The rural environment takes them out of the city

ERPD Hériot differs from the La Verrière and Conflans sites because of its location in rural areas. “The request from the parents who came was very specific. They wanted to get out of town. It was a choice not to place them in La Verrière or Conflans Saint-Honorine,” says one of the teachers. “Here we have a vegetable garden, bees that make honey, sheep, goats and a dog. We are enjoying the campaign! The rural environment takes them out of the city. †

We have accepted everyone

Member of the teaching team, on condition of anonymity.

In addition to the educational mission assigned to them, ERPD Hériot teachers are really committed to helping children in difficulty. “We had children that no one wanted. For some families it was a bit of a last chance school,” says a teacher. His colleague testifies: “We had children who had been dismissed from their municipal school, who had been refused entry to the ERPD of La Verrière and Conflans. We accepted everyone. And he continues: “Here they regain trust, they rebuild themselves. “These were people who were so exhausted. If we hadn’t been there to lend them a hand, I don’t know where they would be today. †

“No waves” at National Education

With the closure of the establishment, the attitude of the institution towards them and towards the parents continues to irritate the teachers the most. “What is unfair is that five new children have been hired into the establishment and the families have not been notified of the closure,” a member of the team denounced. “The families were notified very late, after the February holiday,” she reveals.
“We were not asked what we thought of the closure. We were just told to enroll the kids at La Verrière. We were a bit lost,” admits Marie-Laure. Her daughter had just arrived at the establishment this year.
However, the education team was warned about the closure. “Since December 10, we knew it would close, but we were forbidden to tell the families! ‘ says one teacher.
She explains this lack of communication by the management’s will not to create tensions, with the key word “no waves. †
For the ERPD’s final year, the team had wanted “a little more listening, compassion and empathy” from the National Education.
The management of the establishment did not want to speak: “I have nothing special to tell you. †
Of the thirteen ERPD teachers, two leave to teach at the La Verrière site, one leaves the National Education. The others are being transferred to schools near Rambouillet.

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