With the law of 24 August 2021, parents who wish to homeschool are obliged to submit an application to the rectorate. But faced with the vagueness of this law, major differences exist between one academy and another. According to the parent associations, Toulouse has the highest refusal rate.
Mathilde has never been the rebellious type, but she has been outlawed since Thursday 1 September.
The reason ? She is homeschooling. However, Mathilde and her husband have been homeschooling their children for two years now. Since the age of 3 from their oldest, Owen. “It was his choice, he never changed his mind and we respected that”the mother says. Parents do things the right way and declare their child homeschooled. They are visited by a representative of the town hall and every year by a national education inspector. “His latest report documents a safe environment for rich and varied education”she adds. “So we weren’t worried when we applied for our youngest, who will soon be 3 years old.” But this new request is denied. Owen can stay at home, but his sister Livia has to go back to school. Because in the meantime the law has changed.
Since August 24, 2021 and the “separatism” law, the rules regarding home education have changed. A declaration followed by an inspection is no longer sufficient. Families must now submit a request to the Rectorate, motivated by one of the 4 accepted reasons: for health reasons, to allow intensive artistic or sports practice, because of a homeless life or too far from a school, or finally, because of the presence of a specific situation for the child, motivated by an educational project. The authorization regime replaces the declaration regime.
At the national level, we have 53% positive answers to the title (of the criterion) 4. Where we sin at the ministry level, it is that there are very strong gaps and very strong contrasts between academies and departments in the answers that Be given. In some departments, it’s a huge no. In others, academic services offer more open responses and so we absolutely need to balance things out across the country.Pap Ndiaye, Minister of National Education
Problem: The 4th pattern is rather vague and is not interpreted in the same way according to the academies. Faced with this situation, the Coopli (Coordination for Freedom of Education) association has conducted a survey among families affiliated with associations of parents of home-schooled children. The results show a refusal for almost half of the applications (46.6%). A figure that is more than 50% in the Toulouse academy. “Of all the requests for reason 4, less than 5 files were accepted in Toulouse, it is one of the most difficult academies”regrets Marina Souagnet, from the Nonsc’Ô Toulouse association.
Information denied by the academy’s rector. “There are several acceptance criteria and we have accepted over 80% of the requests contrary to what can be said here or there. opposes Mostafa Fourar. “Some of the requests just fell under reason 4, i.e. a project related to the specific situation of the child, there we have a strong demand for 3 year olds. We can see that this can be a lever for some families to avoid compulsory education at age 3 and we are here to apply the law.
Many of the families involved in these denials have appealed to the administrative court. But for Mathilde and her daughter Livia, the decision was not in their favor. “We are faced with two options: go against our daughter’s best interests and well-being or engage in civil disobedience.” The family has decided: it will be civil disobedience.
There is the framework of the law and there is the interpretation of the law. We are in a new situation since the law was recently passed and its application is for this beginning of the school year. So, of course, the reviews may differ. We are in a democracy, parents who are not satisfied with the board decision can of course appeal to the administrative court and it is the judge who will guide us in the investigation of future files.Mostafa Fourar, Rector of the Academy of Toulouse
A situation that several families in Occitania have faced today. “Everyone is well aware that homeschooling is not a risk to our society or to children, while the scandals in the National Education continue (bullying at school, teacher shortage)outraged Marina Soulagnet of the Nonsc’Ô Toulouse association. “Why forbid these families from this life choice, since the quality of their education has been certified by a national education inspector?”
To protest, the families are called on to demonstrate on September 15. The meeting will be held in Toulouse, at 2 pm on the Prairie des Filtres.