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Philippe Delorme: “Vaccination risks creating tensions in schools”

The cross : Some experts fear that this re-entry will boost the pandemic. Do you share their fears?

Philippe Delorme: I am not particularly worried about the health risk. What I fear is that our establishments will be forced to increase the number of class closures or to return to half-gauges. With harmful academic and psychological consequences, especially for the most vulnerable students. The minister did well to fight to keep schools open. Because beyond the health issue, there is that of the balance of children and young people. Moreover, in Italy or in Germany, where the pupils were deprived of lessons for longer, the health situation was no better than in France.

→ ANALYSIS Back to school: primary school, a weak link in the anti-Covid strategy?

Middle and high school students will be able to be vaccinated in or near their establishments, even without parental consent if they are over sixteen years old. Doesn’t that risk creating tensions?

PD: If a young person aged 16 or over wants to be vaccinated against the advice of his parents, we will respect the rule, while seeking to involve families. The subject of vaccination could also generate other tensions: some vaccinated professors could moderately appreciate having to replace unvaccinated colleagues, required to stay at home because they are contact cases. There is also the question of support for unvaccinated students likely to have to isolate themselves at home: teachers rightly say that we cannot do both face-to-face and distance learning.

How has this crisis affected your registrations?

PD: The flexibility provided by the autonomy and full responsibility of the headteacher, as well as the adaptability of our teachers, have made it possible to respond in the best possible way to changes in the health situation. This could have been an argument for some families who joined us. But this effect is counterbalanced by the financial impact of the crisis, with decreases in income or job losses, especially among artisans and traders.

→ EXPLANATION. How are the percentages of anti-Covid vaccination among teachers calculated?

Last year, for the first time in ten years, Catholic education lost students (- 0.4%). Is this erosion stopped?

PD: We will know the figures in a few weeks but the decline will undoubtedly continue in primary education, for essentially demographic reasons. We will see what it is in secondary school. What is certain is that we must continue to adapt our network to the demand of families, by regrouping or even closing certain schools to redeploy resources to metropolises, suburbs, certain rural areas where many families live. on waiting lists. It is a complex redeployment because a Catholic school is also a presence of the Church.

How is your commitment to social diversity reflected?

PD: As part of the new popular education policy, which now applies by establishment and no longer by zone, we are launching an experiment in the academies of Lille, Nantes and Aix-Marseille without submitting to the school map. In each of them, two of our establishments, which have a profile similar to those of priority education, will receive additional hours and enough to finance the purchase of equipment or external interventions, with a project validated by the rectorate.


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