10. Parents and Schools in France
10.4 Complaints System in French Schools
There is a formal complaints system in place for all parents.
The procedure to be adopted will depend, to some extent, on the nature of the complaint and the stage your child has reached in the education system.
If you need local advice on where to go or how to complain you might want to consider speaking to one of the parent representatives on the School Council, or to one of the parent associations.
Clearly, in the first instance, it always makes sense to try and resolve matters locally and amicably. A meeting with the head-teacher or a formal letter of complaint to them should, therefore, be the first step.
The next stage would be to contact the Inspecteur d’Academie for your area.
If matters cannot still be resolved satisfactorily, then France has in place a system of mediation run through government appointed mediators for the education system.
If your complaint is about the school then you need to contact the academic mediator, called the Médiateur académique for your region.
If the complaint concerns a decision made by a national or regional education body or official then the complaint should be made to the national education mediator, called the Médiateur de l'éducation nationale.
Although the decision of the mediator is not binding on the education authority their advice is generally accepted and adopted.
Quite apart from using the system of mediation you can also take legal action through the courts.
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