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“Schools of the future”: a divisive experiment



“Our ambition with Mr. Minister is then in the coming months to be able to generalize this approach”, said Emmanuel Macron during his visit to Marseille on Thursday June 2. The Head of State and the new Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, visited the Menpenti kindergarten, one of the 59 Marseille schools taking part in the “School of the future” project.

Autonomy and freedom

This experiment, announced in September 2021 and which will be launched at the start of the 2022 school year, is part of the “Greater Marseille” plan, which in particular allocates 814 million euros to the construction and renovation of elementary schools. Beyond the work on the building, the president made a point of visiting the Menpenti school and its “mathematics laboratory”, designated as an innovative educational project.

The key words used to promote this school of the future project are “autonomy” and ” freedom “ for education professionals. A budget of 2.5 million euros has been released to help them carry out their educational projects. That is €40,000 per school.

But the unions did not wait for the start of the school year and the launch of the experiment to express their concern. Particularly since Emmanuel Macron has shown the desire to generalize this project on a national scale.

Stéphane Crochet, secretary general of SE-Unsa, regrets announcementssurprise » to which we had to adapt expressly”. Some schools entered the process after friendly pressures ». The selection of establishments also caused irritation. Guislaine David, co-secretary general and spokesperson for the SNUipp-FSU, considers that the commitment has not been kept. Originally, the schools concerned were located in priority education zones. Finally, twenty-one of them are not. » According to her, hasAllocating the same budget to schools that do not encounter the same operating difficulties is inconsistent. »

Unions fear generalization

Among the innovations proposed as part of this experiment, the possibility for establishments to recruit new teachers themselves is controversial. “Some establishments and some territories will attract a lot of candidates, others not at all. What are we supposed to do if there is no teacher for such a class at the start of the school year? », asks Guislaine David. It shows particular concern for schools located in priority education zones, which are less and less attractive, and fears that this new recruitment process will leave room for patronage » and cronyism “.

→ RELIRE: “The school of the future” worries the teaching world

On the SE-Unsa side, Stéphane Crochet prefers to qualify. It went rather well in Marseille, according to colleagues. But this will surely not be generalizable at the national level. » In particular because of territorial inequalities. ” In Marseille, there has been cooperation between the State and the local authority which accompanies and partly subsidizes the projects. But not all local authorities have the same resources in France. »

This lack of resources is regularly denounced by the unions. At SE-Unsa, we wonder about the sustainability of the funding granted as part of this experience. At SNUipp-FSU, the experience simply does not meet the expectations expressed by professionals. Macron has made Marseille a showcase, he talks to us about building a school of the future with more freedom and autonomy, but what we are asking for, above all, are additional means”, summarizes Guislaine David.

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