The School Year

Understand the school year and the daily school schedule...

The school year starts in early September, dates are set by the region (and in the case of private schools, by the school itself) and finishes for the long summer holidays in July.

In primary schools the school week is 24 hours long. Some schools opt for a four day week with six hours of classes per day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; others adopt a four and a half day week (Monday to Friday, with Wednesday afternoon off).

The school day hours vary between regions but is generally 08:30-16:30 with two breaks.

The school days are slightly longer in collège and lycée and may depend on additional options taken by the student such as Latin.

Lunch hours vary from school to school and in general last one and a half to two hours. Children may either stay at school and eat at the cantine or return home for lunch. The price of a cantine meal can vary in each school and will depend on the local commune which subsidises school meals. Children at an école maternelle whose parents do not work are not always accepted at the cantine, the local Mairie will ask for proof that both parents work (pay slips or work contract).

There is no charge for state schooling and books, however parents must supply stationery and additional funds for school outings.

Insurance is generally requested to cover all risks at school and on school outings. Household insurance may cover the child at school and for school outings. Check with the insurance provider, which can provide a certificate for the school if required.