On 22 February 2022 the French government updated their web page on Homeschooling in France to reflect a new law that is coming in for the school year starting 2022. This requires you to seek approval to homeschool in advance.
The information on this page includes a translation of the new law, plus additional information.
Comments in italics are our notes, not part of the law.
2021 School Year
While education is compulsory for all children, currently the Jules Ferry law (article L131-2 of the education code) guarantees freedom of instruction by giving parents the choice of how their children are educated. In 2020, it was estimated that around 50,000 children were educated at home, or 0.6% of children aged 6 to 16. This is an increase from 41,000 in 2019 and 30 to 35,000 en 2017. It is also expected that in 2021 far more children were homeschooled at least temporarily due to Covid.
2022 School Year
From the start of the 2022 school year , the possibility of receiving instruction at home will be strictly limited.
In particular, you will need to obtain authorization for your child to be homeschooled. This authorization will be granted for specific reasons.
The decree of 15 February 2022 clarifies the new regulations.
Education is compulsory for all children in France, French and foreign, from 3 to 16 years old. You can choose to enroll your child in a school (public or private). Your child can also receive this instruction at home. Education in the family, sometimes called homeschooling, should enable the child to acquire specific knowledge and skills. The instruction given and the progress of the child are monitored.
You can choose to have your child homeschooled. From the start of the 2022 school year, you will need to obtain an authorization. The instruction is then carried out by you or by a person of your choice.
Which children are affected?
Any child of school age and subject to the obligation of education, that is to say who is between 3 and 16 years old, can benefit from education in the family.
Place of residence of the child
A child residing in France can attend school at home, whatever their nationality. On the other hand, a French child who lives abroad is not affected. French law will not affect children living abroad, local law will apply to them instead.
Homeschooling can be done in a place other than the child's home.
|Please note: Homeschooling must only bring together children from one and the same family.|
The above law exists to stop schools from opening illegally, which is a serious crime in France. Obviously your child can still socialise with other homeschooled children.
Declaring that you are homeschooling
To see links for where to declare that you're homeschooling, visit https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F23429 then scroll down to Démarches à accomplir par la famille and enter your postcode.
Before each new school year, you must declare to the mayor of your municipality and to Dasen (Directeur académique des services de l'éducation nationale) that your child's education will be given in the family.
This declaration must be made in writing and include the following information:
- Last name, first name, date of birth and address of the child.
- Surnames, first names and address of the parents of the child.
- Address where instruction is provided if different from home address.
|Please note: If you decide to start homeschooling during the school year, you have 8 days from the change in mode of instruction to declare it.|
The Dasen acknowledges receipt of the declaration and sends you a certificate of instruction in the family.
|Namely: The declaration must be renewed each year.|
Mayor's contrôle (inspection)
The mayor must carry out an inspection of the educated child in each family, from the 1st year they are homeschooled. This survey is repeated every two years, until the child is 16.
The objective of the inspection is to control the reasons for which this mode of instruction is chosen by the family. The inspection must also determine whether homeschooling is compatible with the state of health and living conditions of the family.
It does not concern the quality of instruction, which is a matter of pedagogical control.
Contrôle pédagogique (Educational control)
The Dasen verifies that the child receives instruction and that they acquire knowledge.
They also ensure the progress of the child. The objective is to verify that the child has mastered all the requirements of the common core at the age of 16.
The instruction does not necessarily have to respect the National Education programs for each level. You can freely choose the means and methods for your child to reach this level. In addition, the child is not subject to the national assessments of CE1 and CM2.
An academy inspector carries out the individual control of the child at least once a year. The inspector may be assisted by a school psychologist. This control is carried out from the 3rd month following the declaration of homeschooling.
You will be informed in writing of the date and place of the inspection. This information is sent to you at least 1 month before the day of the control.
The inspector checks the knowledge and skills acquired by the child during an interview with you. You must specify on this occasion the approach and the teaching methods that you are implementing.
The child then performs exercises (written or oral) adapted to their age and state of health. This allows the inspector to determine whether their knowledge and skills are sufficient, especially at the end of each education cycle.
The results are communicated to you within 3 months.
If the inspector deems the results of the control insufficient, a second inspection is scheduled within sufficient time (minimum 1 month after sending the first results). These deadlines should allow you to improve the situation. The date and place of the check must be communicated to you.
If the results of the second check are deemed insufficient, Dasen requires you to enroll the child in a school (public or private) within 15 days of notification. You must provide the mayor with the contact details of this establishment.
Absence of statement of instruction
If you do not send the declaration of homeschooling to the mayor and to Dasen at the start of the school year, you risk a fine of 1,500 € .
Family Opposition to Control
You cannot oppose a pedagogical control. If you do, the Dasen reports it to the District Attorney.
Failure to comply with the schooling formal notice
If after the second pedagogical control, you have to enroll your child in a school and you refuse to do so, you risk 6 months' imprisonment and a fine of € 7,500.
Enrolment in a private school opened illegally
If you enroll your child in a private school opened illegally, while you declare to give him an education at home, you risk 1 year in prison and a fine of €15,000.
You must send the certificate of instruction in the family to the Family allowance fund (CAF) to benefit from family allowances.
You cannot benefit from the back-to-school allowance (ARS) if your child is homeschooled.
The child will also not be able to benefit from the college scholarship or the high school scholarship.
Children unable to attend school
Some children cannot be enrolled in a school. In this case, they are registered free of charge at the Center national d'enseignement à distance (CNED), after consulting Dasen.
Some children cannot be enrolled in a school. This applies in particular to the following situations:
- Child with a disability.
- Child who practices a sporting or artistic activity that cannot be reconciled with traditional schooling.
- Child with itinerant parents.
- Child who lives too far from a school.
For more information and the steps to take if your child is unable to attend school, please visit https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F23429.