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Where are the Best French Lycees?

Wednesday 15 April 2009

The French government have published details of French lycee results for 2008, showing a classification of best to worst.

The publication of lycée exam results each year in France marks an important occasion in the year when a comparative rating of secondary schools in France is undertaken.

The results are read with great interest by French parents and teaching professionals as, not only do they show the crude percentage number of pupils obtaining a Baccalaureate in each school (taux de réussite), but they also show the ‘value added’ of each school (taux attendu), which takes into account the social background of the pupils.

The results also shows the level of selectivity in each school (taux d’accès de la Seconde et de la Première au Bac), a factor that will inevitably affect the percentage number of students passing the exam. Some schools are more selective than others in those pupils whom they allow to progress through to the final examination.

Around 60% of French pupils obtain a Baccalaureate, with an overall success rate of around 80% of those who actually attend a lycée.

The publication of these results is a joint exercise undertaken by the French government, in partnership with the magazine L’Express.

The results of the 2008 Baccalaureate exams are now on the French government website. They are also on the web site of L’Express, although in a slightly different format.

The figures in L'Express show a league table of results, showing the performance of each lycée on a national basis.

According to L’Express the most successful lycée in France in 2008 was the private LycéeVauban, in the town of Pontoise in the department of Val d’Oise. The public LycéeLe Cheylard in the Ardeche was in second place.

As with any league table of school exam results, the French tables do need to be read with a degree of circumspection, if only because they cannot take account of all factors, eg size of school. The magazine has also adopted their own approach to the ranking process, and other newspapers have adopted different approaches, with different results.

Nevertheless, the tables are being developed each year to try and take account of wider social factors and the circumstances of the school, and it is quite an impressive effort by the authorities.

You can read more about French lycées in our comprehensive and free guide to Secondary School Education in France.

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