As many of you know, I founded and direct the Maîtrise de Toulouse : a choir based on the English choir school model and part of the Toulouse Conservatoire. We are the only choir school in South West France. Our website resumes what we have achieved over the last ten years: www.maitrisedetoulouse.fr
If the choir has been able to build up into a successful model it is because the conditions put into place at the outset were excellent. These conditions are now under severe threat.
At the moment the choristers all attend school in an annexe within the buildings of the Conservatoire, alongside other instrumental and dance pupils. They benefit from adapted timetables ('classes à horaires aménagés') allowing them to spend several hours a day in the conservatoire, singing, playing, dancing or studying solfège.
The local education department has now decided it wants to close down the school annexe, specifically because they do not like the fact that these pupils are educated only amongst themselves. They want to separate the pupils and disperse them into several different secondary schools outside the city centre.
This is already the situation for our primary classes which are in partnership with a school in a Toulouse suburb. We know from 12 years of experience that the vast majority of parents simply will not put their pupils in a school far away from both most of the rest of the city, and from the Conservatoire. The same would be the case if this is put into place for the secondary school. Parents will not accept such a deterioration of conditions for pupils, where they would have to spend large amounts of time every day crossing the city between institutions : recruitment into the Maîtrise will crumble and all that has been built up over the last ten years will be lost.
If you feel you'd like to support us and try and put a stop to this ideological madness which ignores all practicality, please do sign this petition: https://www.change.org/p/touchepasauxha. There is a summary in English of the issues.