8. French Lower Secondary School - Collège
8.4. Assessment and Le Redoublement
As might be expected, assessment is rigorous, with systematic continuous assessment, regular tests and a school report over the final two years that contributes to the attribution of a national diploma Brevet at end of the final year (3eme).
Parents receive a report three times a year on their child’s academic progress (livre scholaire).
Pupils may be required to repeat a year, called le redoublement, if it is felt they would benefit from doing so.
There is a lot of debate in France about the efficacy of le redoublement, with a great deal of research which suggests it makes little if any difference to attainment.
As a result, since 2014 the government have decreed that it should only be done on an exceptional basis.
The key years for consideration of le redoublement are at the end of 4eme and 3eme, being the end of each key stage of education.
It is not unusual for pupils from overseas to be asked to repeat a year if their French language ability is not considered adequate. Indeed over a third of all pupils experience repeating a year during their time at school.
Alternatively, they may be placed in a lower class level on entry.
Parents can also request that their child repeats a year.
Parents have a right of appeal to the Inspector d’académie if they do not agree with the decision of the school, which they must exercise within three days of the notification of the decision.
In practice, decisions are taken in collaboration with the parents wherever possible.
Others consider that it is particularly helpful in improving the self-confidence of pupils as they improve their understanding of the subjects.
One of the key objectives of the PPRE initiative mentioned in earlier pages is to try and reduce the number of pupils who face having to resit the year.
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