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Canteens: Catholic education judges its students “discriminated against”



While Catholic education is frequently accused of putting up with a lack of social diversity within some of its establishments, its secretary general Philippe Delorme counter-attacked, Thursday 23, during his press conference in back to school.

“Our contribution to the public education service mission cannot, despite all the good will of our teams, be offered to everyone if the State and local authorities make differences between families and do not offer the same support for all students ”, he denounced, evoking “Inconsistencies, dysfunctions, impediments”.

What funding for AESH on canteen time?

The patron of Catholic education gave as an example the case of supporting disabled students during canteen and daycare. Since a decision of the Council of State of November 2020, local authorities must take over from the State to finance the intervention of accompanying persons, when the child is educated in the public.

On the other hand, if he is a private student, and even if the notification from the Departmental House of Disabled People states that he needs support during extra-curricular time, no funding is provided.

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“This has the consequence of making this burden fall on the family”, chokes Philippe Delorme. On the family or on the establishment … “However, many of our small schools do not have the means to finance these jobs”, warns Lionel Leandri-Vendeuvre, representative of Snceel (1) in the academy of Nice, where several families are faced with this situation.

Nationally, several hundred children would be affected, says Philippe Delorme. According to him, discussions with the various stakeholders are on track. This is confirmed by the Ministry of Education.

The private sector excluded from the “1 € canteen” system

On the other hand, the situation is at a standstill on another file, on a larger scale: school catering. In the public, the price of the meal is often fixed according to the family quotient (with for example a floor price of 0.50 € in Île-de-France), the community paying the remainder of the sum.

This represents on average three quarters of the expenditure, calculated the Court of Auditors in 2020. In the private sector, on the other hand, with some exceptions, students do not benefit from this social assistance and therefore pay “full price”. So much so that for them, the cost of catering is often higher than the registration fee.

“When a community gives 3 € per meal to a pupil, why a pupil in an identical family situation would not be entitled to these 3 € if he is educated with us? “, asks Philippe Delorme, who talks about “Discrimination”. This “Lack of equity” seems even more shocking to him in the context of the “1 € canteen” scheme, subsidized by the State and which concerns fragile municipalities in rural areas: “Yet we have 2,570 schools in these municipalities. They educate 343,000 students who have therefore been forgotten! “

This file is all the more crucial, argues the patron of Catholic education, that half-board has become the rule, “With nearly 100% of primary school students having lunch in the canteen”. Philippe Delorme assures not “Claim more resources” for its establishments but to fight for low-income families likely to register their children there. Otherwise, he argues, the freedom of choice, guaranteed by the constitution, only applies to families who can afford it.

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