Ministry meddling?

I received a letter yesterday from the local office of the French education ministry. It announced to me that from now on all new teachers at Chavagnes would need to apply for an authorisation to teach. OK, fair enough. But it went on to specify that they would not get it unless they had a Master's degree. For Sports teachers they had to have a bachelor's degree in Physical Education Science and a Master's degree.

I was worried. We have recruited a few new teachers, with UK qualified teacher status, and bachelor's degrees, but no Master's degrees. And we often have, in the past, recruited teachers straight from university and put them through their PGCE part-time. This new requirement seemed to rule this out; I rang the man from the ministry and he confirmed it.

Subsequent researches have confirmed, however, that the man from the ministry is wrong. The only qualification required of teachers in independent schools is the baccalaureat (A-levels). It appears that the over-zealous civil servants were applying to us the rules intended for private schools aided with government funding. He who pays the piper (or the teacher) calls the tune, which seems fair enough.

So, then there came a sense of relief that I would not have to spend hours of my time making the legal case for my new teachers (who are all experienced professionals) and for young recruits in the future, bringing their energy and idealism with them fresh from university. But now a sinking feeling is beginning to take hold. Once I have convinced our local men from the ministry of their mistake, they are bound to want their revenge ... I have a feeling that this is not the last we will hear from them.

Vive l'enseignement libre ...

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