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

The magistrates have looked into the margins of autonomy enjoyed by colleges and high schools, at a time when the government invites establishments to develop local “projects”. A report that is not without political echo.

by Eléa Pommiers

The Court of Auditors is invited to a project that the President of the Republic has defined as a priority: the school. At a time when Emmanuel Macron and the government urge schools to launch local consultations and develop “innovative projects” within the framework of the National Refoundation Council (CNR), the magistrates of rue Cambon published on Tuesday 24 January, A report entitled” Mobilizing the educational community around the establishment project “in which they recommend, in particular, to” strengthen the role of school heads “.

While the Head of State intends to carry a “Copernican Revolution” to school by giving more “freedom” and “autonomy” to “actors on the ground”, the court looked at Margin of maneuver available to local public teaching establishments (EPLE) – Legal status of colleges and high schools – to improve, at their level, the success of students.

The legislative and regulatory developments of the last forty years have gradually granted secondary schools an autonomy which already leaves their hands to adapt, in particular, their educational organization. From its investigation, the court concludes, however, that these room for maneuver “are not always sufficiently used” in a system which “suffers in particular from very centralized piloting”. Among the other elements that explain this observation, for the magistrates, are the multiplicity of actors to be synergy within and outside the establishments, the lack of time granted to teachers as well as the social and geographic context of each college and high school , which necessarily constrains their latitude.

“real executives”

The report also returns to the obligation, already made to secondary schools since a law of 1989, to acquire a project of establishment allowing “to adapt the national school framework to the characteristics of the students”. However, half of colleges and high schools do not have, according to a survey conducted by the Court, and “the quality of the approach and the scope of the document are very unequal”.

Deploring a school system whose “formal national uniformity accommodates actual inequalities in students’ treatment”, magistrates make two main recommendations to “improve the organization of the school system”. They first recommend rethinking the allocation of means to establishments by modulating them more according to the social and geographic context, elements that all academies do not systematically take into account, according to the report. The Court argues above all for heads of establishments who are “real executives within the institution”, with more prerogatives in terms of teacher assessment and more room for maneuver to “promote the investment teachers with regard to the objectives of the establishment project “and” better pay (…) the most invested “.

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/Media reports cited above.