Education International
Education International

France: Teachers deplore impact of government policy on the profession

published 15 July 2011 updated 20 September 2011

EI’s French affiliate, le Syndicat national des enseignements de second degré (SNES), has denounced its government’s failure to fill hundreds of teacher vacancies which have been subject to a new national exam.

In a public statement, SNES leaders said that they found the situation ‘alarming for the future of secondary education system and the attractiveness of education jobs.’ The union also rejected the Ministry of Education’s explanation that the under-recruitment was a result of wanting to ‘maintain the standard of the exam despite the lack of candidates’.

SNES has rejected this claim, arguing that even though the number of candidates has been decreasing, the numbers are adequate to fill all positions, while selection panels have the power to recruit. SNES also outlined how, for the first time ever, more candidates had diplomas, as they are required to hold the Masters- level degree by the time they are recruited.

For SNES, the situation is all the more intolerable because it ‘will heavily reduce the attractiveness of the profession next year. It is a negative message to all students willing to join the teaching profession. SNES urges the Ministry to do everything possible for all positions open to exam entry to be filled.’

The latest decision by the Ministry of Education follows another ruling implemented by the authorities which has forced massive job cuts in the teaching profession over two years, with more than 4,800 teaching posts and 600 administrative posts affected in secondary education.

EI supports its French affiliate and urges the education authorities to end financial cutbacks and calls for the necessary steps to be taken to recruit and retain good sufficient numbers of teachers to ensure quality public education for all.