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French Schools To Give Exam Marks for Behaviour

Friday 01 December 2006

A new system of compulsory school reports has been introduced for pupil behaviour, the results of which will count towards the school-leaving certificate.

All children attending lower secondary school (‘collège’) in France will now receive a quarterly report on their level of discipline, punctuality, and involvement in school activities.

French parent associations have criticised the reports as imposing a double penalty on pupils, who already face punishment if they misbehave. They are also concerned about the arbitrary nature of the reports between pupils and a lack of consistency between schools across France.

Whilst it is not envisaged that pupils will be penalised for a lack of participation in school activities, it is difficult to see how those who do participate will be rewarded if they are not given a higher mark!

French teacher associations seem rather embarrassed about the initiative, and unsure of how to weigh the different factors in the assessment. They also consider it inappropriate that a child’s academic achievements might be marked down for poor behaviour or a lack of participation.

The new reports form part of a wider French government programme to instil a stronger level of civil responsibility in schools, against a backdrop of growing levels of indiscipline, a lack of respect for teachers and poor academic performance.

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