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Boost initial teacher training
[anglais] Key policies - Jean-Michel Blanquer - 03/10/2019

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Thanks to the School of Trust Law, teacher training will now have to meet the same country-wide requirements and specifications.

  • Initial and continuing training is an essential factor for teachers' professional accomplishment and pupils' success.
  • The TALIS international survey, conducted under the supervision of the OECD, shows that a vast majority of teachers are happy to be practising their profession. However, more than half of them expressed a lack of training.
  • In order to meet this need, initial and continuing teacher training has been the subject of in-depth discussions with partners these past months within the framework of the social agenda.

A more uniform initial training across the entire country thanks to Inspé

This involves reinforcing the three pillars of initial training :

  • the university aspect of the training
  • recruitment at master's level
  • Work-study, during the internship year between university education and real-life professional situations.

Until now, teacher training schools did not have a common reference system, which led to highly heterogeneous training across the country, with a more or less marked focus on imparting basic knowledge for primary school teachers in particular.
Thanks to the Law for a School of Trust, the training will now meet the same standards and specifications across the country.

The Espé (teacher training and education colleges) have now become instituts nationaux supérieurs du professorat et de l'éducation (Inspé - Higher National Teacher Training and Education Institutes).
The name change :

  • translates the Inspé rooting in higher education, particularly through a better backing of training through university research
  • reasserts the position of the employer State, while respecting universities' autonomy
  • underscores the national nature of the institutes and thereby the need for training that is more uniform across the entire country.

At the Inspé, a common hourly volume of 800 hours per year will contribute to a better breakdown of the courses.

For primary education :

For secondary education :

The link between theory and practice is reinforced : a third of the training time will be covered by teachers concurrently practising in classes that can be taught at internship level.

The international dimension of the courses has been broadened. The Inspé will be able to :

  • prepare candidates for primary school teacher recruitment exams and who may wish to present a living foreign language
  • issue a certificate of competence to teach French abroad to foster the emergence of a section of teachers interested in professional experiences in the French network abroad.

The law clarifies the governance of Inspé. Candidates applying to be heads are now interviewed by a selection committee co-presided by the chief education officer and the chairman of the higher education institution to which it is attached, compulsorily including the chairman of the school board. The committee will submit, with reasoned opinion, the names of the candidates to the ministers, who will then choose the head.

Law For a School of Trust
Article 45 : "The head of the institute is now appointed by a joint order issued by the ministers in charge of national and higher education."
"The candidates applying for the position of institute head are interviewed by a committee co-presided by the competent chief education officer and the chairman or head of the institution to which it is attached."

Supporting vocations with a pre-professionalism measure

In order to broaden the teacher recruitment pool, it is crucial to support the vocations of students who do not have the financial means for their studies and those who want to discover the profession before sitting for the recruitment exams.

Starting from the second year of a bachelor's degree programme, students who wish will be offered the chance to work 8 hours per week in a school or an institution :

  • in bachelor's year 2, this involves observing and tutoring in connection with homework in particular
  • in bachelor's year 3, they will participate in class under the responsibility of a tutor
  • in master's year 1, they will be in charge of a class with the support of a lecturer.

Students are recruited under a contract with attractive remuneration conditions (693 euros net per month for bachelor's year 2) and can be combined with scholarships.

As from September 2019, 1,600 students are concerned with the pre-professionalism measure.
3,000 new students will be recruited in September 2020, then 3,000 others in September 2021.

Ultimately, the measure will benefit 9,000 students from bachelor's year 2 to master's year 1.

A recruitment exam that helps one to better prepare to teach

Today, 50 % of graduates have sat for their exams after master's year one and 50 % after the second year of a research master's.

In order to make the situation uniform, a brainstorming process is underway with the partners. The Ronzeau-Saint-Girons report demonstrated that a recruitment exam at the end of master's year 2 will have several advantages :

  • no longer divide the master's programme in two years of which the first year would be exclusively dedicated to preparing for the recruitment exams and the other to professional training, as is the case today
  • allow the students to acquire solid professional training.

Develop continuing education

The continuing education of teachers is an essential means for progress for the education system and for career advancement of the personnel. In primary schools, the 18 hours of annual continuing education are dedicated to French and mathematics. In mathematics, an innovative and large-scale education plan has been in place since the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
In secondary schools, the academic training plan offers a vast number of courses. The relaunch of the certifications helps re-establish partnerships with universities to carry out the training. Within the framework of the social agenda, a new roadmap for continuing education has been developed. It particularly focuses on continuity between initial and continuing education, the renewal of the instructor pool, the rise of certifications and the links with universities.

Training at the heart of the mathematics plan
850 mathematics advisers were appointed all over the country to support primary school teachers in teaching mathematics.
On 12 February 2018, Cédric Villani and Charles Torossian submitted their report on mathematics teaching in France to the Education and Youth Minister. They identified that efficient pedagogy and didactics cannot exist without solid subject knowledge.
It is necessary to developdecentralised and collaborative continuing mathematics training, which plays a bridging role with higher education. The linchpin of this new set-up is the district to which the institution belongs, which emerges as a centre for intelligence and training that is closer to the teachers.
Nearly 850 mathematics advisers have been appointed all over the country to help primary school teachers in teaching mathematics. Each advisers benefits from a 24-day training plan. Furthermore, specific training locations will be created in schools : mathematics laboratories, where teachers can exchange ideas, learn among peers, and particularly with higher education lecturers. To date, there are 200 projects for mathematics laboratories and 48 universities have already committed to supporting them. The CNRS (French national scientific research centre) will also set up training days for secondary school teachers in mathematics research units. The days will be included in the training academic plans, allowing teachers to find new teaching resources.

More key policies

Last updated : nov. 8, 2019

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