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Recruitment of teachers: “We cannot claim that all schools are equally attractive”

The cross : What do you remember from the announcements made by Emmanuel Macron on the school in Marseille?

Marie Duru-Bellat: Teachers and elected officials were waiting for material resources, and the president announced the creation of “Educational laboratories” in 50 schools in Marseille. That is to say, the exploration of experimental techniques of education, in terms of school rhythm, of a way of teaching, which will completely change the functioning of the machine.

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He also announced that the heads of these schools will be able to choose their teachers themselves, which until now was a sea serpent. Today, principals are assigned teachers, and this makes the constitution of a team. very complicated solid teaching in difficult areas. Teachers very regularly ask for reassignment and the turnover is high: in some establishments, more than half of the team changes each year.

Emmanuel Macron finally specified that the teaching teams could be consolidated with external contributors, who are not teachers. This already existed in some high schools in the priority education zone (ZEP), and this is a very good thing. The school is there to educate, and not just to instruct: actors other than teachers are sometimes necessary to fulfill this role.

Are these announcements well received?

MD-B. : The unions are obviously violently opposed to the choice of teachers by the school principal. They are very afraid of the power of the head of the establishment: their freedom seems more assured to them when the hierarchy is distant, as is the case today with academies or the ministry.

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But we must not be hypocritical: we cannot act as if all the establishments in France had the same environment and were equally attractive, nor as if all the teachers in France were willing to go and teach there. The reality is that nobody wants to go to difficult and degraded schools, and that beginners are sent there, when, on the contrary, we need teachers with experience.

By choosing the most motivated people, we ensure that we have a functioning teaching team. It also creates a sense of belonging, and studies show that it is very beneficial for students who have the most difficulty. This does not mean, of course, that we must also stop working for a better social mix in these schools.

These measures could be generalized, according to the head of state. Does that sound realistic to you?

MD-B. : National education is a big machine, and it is not a speech by the president who will transform it into a snap of the fingers. Nobody imagines that in a few years, all the teachers in France will be recruited by the school directors, and the teaching techniques upset.

But in France, within national education, very little use is made of experiments. It is all the more important to follow those which will be carried out in Marseille and to evaluate the results in one or two years. Because we really have to capitalize on these changes.

If this were to be implemented at the national level, it would however also be necessary to imagine safeguards to avoid abuses: for example, ensure that the most experienced teachers are well distributed over the territory, that they are not not concentrated in certain establishments which would be favored. Or even improve the attractiveness of certain schools, by increasing salaries or reducing working hours, for example. In any case, we must take what is going to happen in Marseille very seriously. Because, as we know, student success is made locally.


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