Thursday, 7 February 2019

Who decides to close classes?

Given that almost all local communes are being threatened with losing classes in their primary schools (even larger communes such as Caussade), or having to merge classes in order to reduce staff levels, who makes the decision?
Education is under the control of the Ministry of Education, managed at local level by "Academies", who decide things such as curriculum, staffing and holiday dates. Here we are under the Academie de Toulouse. But there are Departmental organisms which are charged with carrying out the policies from above.
It is the sole responsibility of the Departmental delegation to decide which schools should close or lose classes. The commune has little or no input. The direction is supposed to consult the schools themselves and the commune maire.
The Department seems to consider that the classes are too small in the primary schools (overall average in Caussade for example is 23 pupils per class). Therefore it wants to combine classes to increase the level to about 27 minimum.
The fear at village level is that their schools will never reach a level considered viable by the Academie, leading to closure and merging with other nearby schools, with all the logistical impact that will have on pupils and parents. The manifestations at local schools will continue and delegations are expected to go to Montauban to try and meet the Director.