The Senate report pushes for the privatization of education

How to fix the national education recruitment crisis? By allowing school principals to recruit and by varying salaries, the report written by Senator LR Gérard Longuet for the Senate Finance Committee was responded to. He wants to increase the “productivity” of teachers by increasing their missions and by changing the network of establishments to reduce their numbers. This senator’s report goes even further than Emmanuel Macron’s announcements. But it sheds light on them by revealing the budgetary goal: to distribute the budgetary margin released by the fall in the number of students in the coming years. School privatization like pension …

French teachers pay as peacekeepers

“I am pleased to write this report because I want to leave the questions open and the theme of attractiveness as an opportunity to expose all the problems of human relations in national education”. Senator Longuet has always enjoyed National Education. Let us remember the 2016 report who, with the same concern for productivity, asked for an increase of 5 hours per week of service time in certified and 8 in aggregated. Everything is free.

The report presented on June 9 was apparently less hurtful. But under the title “Crisis of the attractiveness of the teaching profession: what are the responses from European countries?” he actually called for a liberal reform of National Education and he explained why it would be done.

For G Longuet, the teacher recruitment crisis is European and not just French. For example, Sweden needs to immediately find 77,000 teachers, Germany 15,000. The resignation rate in France, which has risen rapidly, also seems insignificant compared to that in England. Keep in mind that for G Longuet, the problem is not only in recruiting but also in retaining teachers.

It does not hide the French details. Good on salary. on recent report he has already shown that the salary of teachers in France is below the European average of 15%. “Compared to other civil servants, the net salary of teachers is close to that of brigadiers and peacekeepers. The salary of a school teacher is lower than the average salary of category B civil servants”, he said. so. On the other hand, French teachers are one of those who feel least valued in society: in the OECD only Slovak and Slovenian teachers have lower rates. Only 8% of teachers in France think they can influence educational policies, i.e. half the majority in Europe.

Germany, a management model

G Longuet studied how this happens elsewhere and exposed the two countries as models. Thus, more clearly than its recommendations, it introduced in its report a new policy on the privatization of education. His comments, on June 9 at the presentation of the report, were clearer at this point than the text of the report.

The models are Germany and Portugal. From Portugal he will recall that the heads of the establishments could decide the quarter of the school hour. Thus they can choose disciplines that will be strengthened in their establishment and can hire teachers accordingly.

Germany is the subject of a broader and sometimes more sophisticated presentation. So if G Longuet explains that education in Germany costs less than in France, you have to look at what he is talking about. German education spending is higher than the European average. The cost per student amounts to $ 115,747 in Germany compared to 103,579 in the EU and 104,300 in France. The total cost of educational establishments per student is $ 12,774 compared to 10,671 in the EU and 11,201 in France. But Germany spends a lower percentage of its GDP on school education than France. This is not surprising: the German GDP is clearly higher than the French GDP and the number of students is clearly lower (8 million versus 12 million).

But G Longuet emphasized other elements to make Germany a model of educational “productivity”. First, Germany has significantly reduced the number of its establishments: in 10 years 14% are closed and the average number of students per establishment is double the height in Germany. This contributes to cost reduction by rationalizing the offer. But the German density is double that of France, which is obliged to maintain many small establishments in sparsely populated areas. The Court of Auditors has already invited the government to close the establishments. He expects 20 billion in savings from German-style management.

The new missions of teachers

However, most of the productivity gained for G Longuet came from the teachers and their management. German teachers are better paid than the French, but they work 40 weeks a year and put in 10 (at the first level) to 20% (at the second) many hours. “German teachers have to perform many missions, especially replacement or supervision. In fact there is no school life in Germany, the teachers themselves manage the discipline, especially during recess … More , teachers who perform additional tasks will not benefit.from financial compensation, unlike in the French system.The position of discipline, level or section coordinator entrusted by a teacher who has joined the management group is not will include any premium, unlike the French chief’s teachers ”. Thus we have teachers who are more in the establishment, new establishments that are better adapted to these presences and a hierarchy of teachers.

School leaders who hire and hire teachers

To combat the recruitment crisis, the report recommends increasing the number of new teachers but above all allowing school leaders to vary the salary. for this, it is necessary to evaluate teachers more frequently to facilitate the careers of some. G Longuet believed that it was also necessary to vary according to disciplines, for example to pay mathematics teachers as was done in England. The fee may also depend on the training courses followed by the teachers. he talks about a “financial incentive for training”. This happens during leave, which is already allowed by Blanquer law.

“I think about teacher productivity,” G Longuet said. “The countries with the highest economic performance are those where teachers live 35 hours a week in the establishment … We have a feeling that rue de Grenelle offers teachers living conditions without yet understood by our countrymen because they feel that they alone have 160 working days a year which is not very much ”.

To increase productivity, G Longuet would have to relinquish the management of school principals. “Class productivity is the only establishment that can answer this question … Depending on the type of class being trained by the head of the establishment, there may be different needs for teachers”.

We have reached the freedom afforded by the heads of the establishments to recruit teachers, a principle. Also posted by E Macron June 3. This was justified by the President of the Republic by promoting the education project. G Longuet expressed all interest in the budget.

The recovery of budgetary manna has been linked to demographic decline

G Longuet took an idea that was evolving ten years ago: to better manage the education system, give a salary envelope to school principals and let them manage them. “You can become an agrégé and teach French in college. Should the agrégé be paid more than a certified one who also does the job?”. Starting with this managerial approach, the headteacher should have the choice of recruiting for his establishment 4 certified rather than 3 colleagues and maybe 4 contractual rather than 3 certified …

We can see in these recommendations and this argument many points that are similar to the announcements made by E Macron. It is clear that the role given by the principals of the establishments and the recruitment directors of the teachers is only a stage of privatization that can go further. G Longuet handed over the key. “At a time when the French demography shows that there are fewer students, it’s good to know how to use the margin released”. As with the change in the pension system, this margin is the purpose of the privatization phase that National Education has to go through.

Francois Jarraud

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