Life Style

Catholic education: more and more directors split between two schools



One job, head of establishment. And a double life. Samuel Haudrechy spends two and a half days a week at the head of the Saint-Joseph school, 240 students, ten classes, in the popular heart of Amiens. A school that attracts families from the neighborhood as well as parents teaching on the neighboring university site or coming from upscale villages in the area.

The rest of the time, this forty-something goes “green”. Direction Belloy-sur-Somme, 20 kilometers away, where the Notre-Dame school, its 60 students and its four multi-level classes await.

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“Ten years ago, the workforce reached around a hundred children. But Belloy, like neighboring villages, only counted two births last year. And the town also has a public school… Difficult to fill kindergarten classes ”, breathes Samuel Haudrechy.

Multi-site departments are developing

In recent years, faced in places with declining staff, Catholic education has thus developed multi-site directions, shared between several schools which continue to be managed by different associations.

Nationally, there are 400, sometimes grouping together three or four establishments with, at the end of the day, a complete teaching discharge for the head of the establishment. “With mergers, which we are also thinking about, it is one of the means of maintaining our network, decrypts the diocesan director Sylvie Seillier. While responding to the parents’ demand where it is strong, in the city, we maintain a presence of the Church in territories in demographic decline. “

No means to pay a full-time director

Between Saint-Jospeh and Notre-Dame, the atmosphere is very different. In Amiens, the director has a bright office with a meeting table. In Belloy, Samuel Haudrechy rather thought of his grandmother’s Picardy house when he discovered the decoration of his pocket desk. Moreover, he prefers to work in a corner of the ground floor where the pupils come to prepare projects or celebrate birthdays, as evidenced by a skilfully decorated leftover cake on a table. “One way to bond with them”, he comments.

In Belloy, the atmosphere is “Almost family”. “From our first meeting, the president of Apel, the association of parents of pupils, familiarized me with”, says Samuel Haudrechy. The person, Jean-Luc Herbette, did his entire primary in this establishment. It would be wrong to say that it doesn’t matter to him that he no longer sees a full-time director … “But it is a necessary evil. With family participation limited to € 45 per month, we would not have the means to pay a full-time director. ” Especially since the adoption, three years ago, of a new statute for the head of the primary school resulted in an average increase in their remuneration of 45%, according to the diocesan direction.

“Thanks to the Whatsapp application, everyone instantly knows what is going on in the school”, puts Alice in perspective. In her previous position, this teacher worked with a full-time principal. “The establishment was so big that you couldn’t see it any more than here! “, she assures.

Samuel Haudrechy relies, in each school, on a delegate of direction, a teacher who, on a voluntary basis, in her absence, is likely to manage the exceptional registrations to the daycare or a concern for the delivery of the canteen meal. “At the beginning, six years ago, the multisite management made us a little funnyremembers Véronique Delahaye, management delegate at Saint-Joseph school. But we live it more as a mark of confidence. “

An “open school” project to broaden recruitment

Samuel Haudrechy still remembers the joke of a diocesan director. “Do you know how you recognize a good headteacher?” When he is not there, it does not show! “ A plea for team spirit, “Even more essential when you are divided between two schools”.

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Two schools, and two different missions: in Amiens, the aim is in particular to rethink the playground, in Belloy, to make the establishment viable, to broaden its recruitment, by carrying out an “open school” project. “Come rain or shine, each class spends half a day a week outdoors, on land lent by a parent. It’s not the same thing to recite a poem in front of your chair or under a tree ”, he argues, with his head full of ideas: “Ultimately, the Belloy students could show the educational mini-farm that we want to set up. Those of Amiens could take them to discover the cathedral. “

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Enrollment continues to decline in primary

In this return, the number of enrolled in Catholic primary schools fell by 0.85%, notably as a result of a demographic decline which also affects the public.

The overall numbers of Catholic education are stable (- 0.02%), thanks to the dynamism of secondary education (+ 0.49%) and agricultural education (+ 2%).

The diocese of Amiens sees its workforce drop by 0.3%. A decrease which mainly concerns the primary (- 1.5%).

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