Life Style

More latitude and recognition for principals



Better recognize the commitment, the missions, the workload of some 45,000 school principals … Over time, this need has emerged. Especially since the news has sometimes come to shed a harsh light on the difficulties of the profession, as in the fall of 2019, marked by the suicide of a director of Seine-Saint-Denis.

→ INVESTIGATION. Growing unease among school principals awaits answers

It is to these challenges that a bill finally adopted by Parliament on Monday 13 December tries to respond. Written by the LREM deputy of Val-d’Oise Cécile Rilhac, this text gives more latitude to the school principal. “He organizes debates on questions relating to school life. He benefits from a delegation of powers from the academic authority for the proper functioning of the school he directs. He has functional authority within the framework of the missions entrusted to him “, is it indicated.

Facilitate decision making

In other words, the law recognizes the capacity of the director to administer the school, to steer the educational project, to assert himself as an essential interlocutor with the local authority. This functional authority should facilitate decision-making in a certain number of areas defined with the inspection and the academic director, who however retain control over the assessment, sanction, appointment, promotion of personal.

The main teachers’ union, SNUipp, denounces a “Managerial drift”. However, the text, welcomed by the “reformist” unions that are the SE-Unsa and the Sgen-CFDT, does not go so far as to establish a hierarchical link between the director and the other teachers of the school.

No real status of head of establishment

However, this is a recommendation formulated for a long time by some, on the right, who see in the establishment of a hierarchy a guarantee of efficiency and the promise of “Head of school effect” both on student performance and on school life. This reasoning is also at the heart of the experiment that Emmanuel Macron wants to see carried out in Marseille schools, by giving directors latitude in recruiting teachers.

But the main stakeholders themselves, attached to the collective nature of governance in the first degree, do not want such a development: according to an Opinionway survey conducted in 2019 for national education, only 8% of directors demanded a real school leader status, while 2% said they were in favor of a hierarchical link with their teachers.

Neither does the Rilhac law create, a fortiori, a separate body for directors. Nor does it give primary schools the status of public establishment available to colleges and high schools. Despite its adoption, these staff still have more limited prerogatives than their fellow school heads in private education.

Possible administrative assistance

On the other hand, the text intends to strengthen the recognition of directors. He establishes “A specific management allowance” the amount of which must be fixed by decree. To date, principals receive € 238 to € 244 per month in compensation and bonuses depending on the number of classes in their school.

→ REPORT. Covid-19, school principals on the verge of nervous breakdown

The new legislation also provides for accelerated advancement of training courses, as well as possible administrative assistance, in addition to their partial or total discharge. Assistance which could be provided by the State or the local community but which, in the text, is not systematic.

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