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Homeschool, how far will the executive take it?



After weeks of mobilization against the future law “consolidating republican principles”, supporters of family education – which concerns 50,000 children – are impatiently awaiting the final opinion that the Council of State must immediately send to the government.

Because after leaks in the press, the executive admits having been alerted to the problems raised by the article making schooling compulsory from three years old, that is to say enrollment in a school while to date , only the instruction – which can be done at home – is required.

“The initial text was intended to prevent children from sectarian, radical, religious enlistment, recalls the cabinet of the Minister of Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer. But the wise considered that this risk was not sufficiently proven to justify a ban on family education. “ The Council of State suggests that the effects of such a measure would be disproportionate to the objective pursued, the fight against “separatism”.

A club to crush a mosquito

An opinion shared by the constitutionalist Anne-Marie Le Pourhiet. It would be “Take a club to crush a mosquito!” “, said the lawyer. “Parents who use home schooling do so mostly for educational reasons, because their children are uncomfortable in the current system, or for health or geographic reasons. To prevent some deviant behaviors – which exist – everyone will be housed in the same boat ”, she regrets.

→ DEBATE. End of home schooling: an attack on fundamental freedoms?

In the entourage of Jean-Michel Blanquer, it is recalled that the opinion of the Council of State will not be binding. But it is argued that it would be very unwise, at least politically, not to take this into account. In the preliminary draft sent to the Council of State and that The cross had analyzed in mid-November, the ban on family education was accompanied by exceptions, granted for a maximum of one year.

“They had to concern the situations which today justify an access to the regulated teaching of the Cned (1): illness, handicap, child artists, sportsmen, geographically far from school”, we list rue de Grenelle.

Prohibit or better frame

Two options are now in competition. The first is to extend this list of exceptions, while retaining the principle of prohibition. Parents could no longer invoke a simple philosophical or religious choice to educate their child at home. They would have to prove that their project does not harm the child and that it allows him to gradually achieve the expectations of the common base.

The second solution is to keep the current regime, but by providing more supervision and strengthening controls (today at least one inspection per year). It would then always be up to the State to intervene in the event of a deviation to impose the child’s education.

At the heart of the matter, a question: does family education come under, as its supporters argue, the freedom of education guaranteed in the constitutionality bloc? “The Constitutional Council has never pronounced on the subject”, ensures the Ministry of Education. Who also insists: “Germany and Sweden prohibit home education without the European Court of Human Rights finding a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. “

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