Homeschooling laws vary throughout Europe, and France is one country where homeschooling used to be legal until very recently.
In fact France had the highest number of homeschooled children anywhere in Europe itself with more than 50,000 children being educated at home at last count.
However, only in 2022 did President Macron reverse France’s homeschooling laws and made it more difficult to home educate school aged children except in limited circumstances.
Fines of €1,500 can apply for any parent keeping their child at home away from school without authorization.
You now need to go through a strict authoritization process to gain permission to educate your child at home in France.
The government is prioritizing integrating all children into the French school system by making school participation mandatory for all school aged children aged 3 to 16.
From 2022, any parent who wants to homeschool their child in France needs to get specific approval from the government and permission will only be given in limited circumstances.
To prevent the starting up of unauthorised schools in the home or other facilities, homeschooling is strictly limited to children within one household only. In other words, you can’t send your children to someone else’s home to be educated, nor can you take in other people’s children into your home to provide homeschooling to.
School is compulsory for all children in France from age 3 to 16.
Most kids start going to pre-school in France from 2 years of age.
Approved reasons for homeschooling in France
From now on, only very few reasons will allow parents to keep children at home for schooling instead of sending them to an approved public or private school.
The government states that approvals for homeschooling will be limited.
Parents must apply for permission to homeschool, and provide details for the specific reason.
Potential permissible reasons for home educating a child are listed below, but each application is considered individually and there is no guarantee a parent will receive permission to homeschool their child.
Homeschooling can be applied for for one or more of the following reasons:
- Health or disability
- Frequent family travel throughout France
- Excessive distance from a school
- Where a child excels at a sporting or artistic pursuit which requires regular participation or training
Parents should not assume they will be given approval to teach their child at home just because one or more of the above reasons applies – you will need to meet very specific requirements to be allowed to homeschool your child from now on in France.