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Education: the Court of Auditors takes a position on “strengthening the role of heads of establishments”

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The Court of Auditors invites itself to a site that the President of the Republic has defined as a priority: the school. At a time when Emmanuel Macron and the government are urging schools to launch local consultations and develop “innovative projects” within the framework of the National Council for Refoundation (CNR), the magistrates of rue Cambon published, on Tuesday 24 January, a report entitled “Mobilize the educational community around the school project in which they recommend, in particular, to “strengthening the role of headteachers”.

While the Head of State intends to wear a “Copernican revolution” at school by giving more ” freedom “ and D’“autonomy” to the “field actors”the Court examined the leeway available to local public education establishments (EPLE) – the legal status of middle schools and high schools – to improve student success at their level.

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Legislative and regulatory changes over the past forty years have gradually granted secondary schools an autonomy that already leaves them free to adapt, in particular, their pedagogical organization. From its investigation, the Court concludes, however, that this leeway “are not always sufficiently used” in a system that “suffers in particular from very centralized management”. Among the other elements which explain this observation, for the magistrates, are the multiplicity of actors to be put in synergy within and outside the establishments, the lack of time granted to the teachers as well as the social and geographical context of each college and high school. , which necessarily constrains their latitude.

“True executives”

The report also returns to the obligation, already imposed on secondary establishments by a law of 1989, to adopt a school plan allowing “to adapt the national school framework to the characteristics of the pupils”. However, half of colleges and high schools do not have one, according to a survey conducted by the Court, and “the quality of the approach and the scope of the document are very uneven”.

Deploring a school system whose “formal national uniformity accommodates real inequalities in the treatment of students”the magistrates make two main recommendations for “improve the organization of the school system”. They recommend first of all to rethink the allocation of resources to establishments by modulating them more according to the social and geographical context, elements that all academies do not systematically take into account, according to the report. The Court pleads above all for heads of establishments who are “real executives within the institution”endowed with more prerogatives in terms of teacher evaluation and more leeway for “enhance the investment of teachers in relation to the objectives of the school project” and “better pay (…) the most invested ».

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