Schools & Temporary Rental in Castelnau-le-Lez

15 Replies
Gwyneth P



Hello, my French husband, our 7 year old daughter and I will be moving from California to Castelnau-le-Lez during the summer of 2017. We are considering registering her at l'École élémentaire Jean Moulin. Does anyone know the criteria for school registration in this village? For instance, there seem to be more single family home rentals in nearby Clapiers, but perhaps we must live directly in Castelnau in order to register our daughter there. (We plan on renting to give us time to look for a home to buy.) Any advice is welcome - thank you! 

Featured Classified


Nathalie-Leopold-862085 1465898713

Jean Moulin is a very good school indeed !
First of all, you need to be living in Castelnau.
You will be asked to provide evidence (electricity bill, lease ...). Depending on your exact address, you will be automatically registered to the nearest school, so you might not be able to chose Jean Moulin I am afraid, unless you pick a house in the right area. Be aware that registration usually happens in March/April on a first comes first served basis, so you should call the Mairie to know exactly the dates for registration.
Good Luck.

Nathalie-Leopold-862085 1465898726

Jean Moulin is a very good school indeed !
First of all, you need to be living in Castelnau.
You will be asked to provide evidence (electricity bill, lease ...). Depending on your exact address, you will be automatically registered to the nearest school, so you might not be able to chose Jean Moulin I am afraid, unless you pick a house in the right area. Be aware that registration usually happens in March/April on a first comes first served basis, so you should call the Mairie to know exactly the dates for registration.
Good Luck.

Gwyneth P 1465925260

Thank you, Nathalie. It's quite tricky, isn't it? How do people manage a move and register their children in time? Will have narrowed it down and we will live in Castelnau, but the closest address we have at this point is Olivier's mother near Lyon and some friends in Pérols. We plan on moving July 2017,so how does one know where exactly their address will be in order to register for school?

Thank you again, your reply is so appreciated already!

Nathalie-Leopold-862085 1466012358

It is tricky indeed, but it is worth it ! Castelnau is a great place to live in. So many activities for adults and kids, 30 min away from the see side, 10 min away from Montpellier and its shopping centers (OK there are not Malls like you would find in the USA, but still !).... I am about to move to a different region unfortunately and I am very sad; I would happily sell you my house but can't wait for another year :-)
When it comes to school don't worry. They will have to take you kids anyway, it is mandatory, but finding you house/flat is the priority. If you are really keen to registering in Jean Moulin - check that the house you chose is in the right area before committing (if you contact the Town Hall, they would tell you). The ideal is to know your address by March/April 2017, and if it is not the case, you can still register at a later stage. We registered in August !!!
I know someone from California whose girl in in Jean Moulin, she is an English teacher, I can connect the 2 of you if you need.
All the best, I am sure you will have a fabulous time in South of France, you are very lucky !

Gwyneth P 1466013526

Hello Nathalie, Thank you so much! Yes, I think contacting the town hall is a good first step.

I wish to be connected with your friend whose child goes to Jean Moulin - that would be very helpful. There is no way to communicate private messages here, is there? I can give an old email address, I suppose...I'll just have to remember to check it. Here it is:

Too bad you can't wait for us to buy your house, we might have liked it!! :-)


TASKER-497318 1466850683

Hi depending on how strict the school is with paperwork - you may need birth certificate - passport - proof of residence - you will need an up to date vaccination certificate including tetanus which the french expect topping up every 5 years - and insurance - for primary schools it is usually included in your house contents insurance free (just ask for a certificate) for college and lycee it is a policy that you must take out independently - very cheap - starts around 10 euros but varies and is more expensive for lycee.

We enrolled our boys in Maternelle and Primaire and were asked for different paperwork and had different experiences. Our eldest son who went into our village primary school was just pushed into the room and sat at a desk they were only worried about the vaccinations and insurance - but our younger son who went into the Maternelle in the next village was not allowed to enrol until we had proof of leaving school in the UK - as well as all the other paperwork. You will need to enrol directly at the school or the mairie

Everyone seems to have different experiences - depending on the school but mostly it is quite painless - our younger son has just finished his last year at lycee - he has dyslexia and we had an enormous amount of support from the whole school system . We have been very happy with the whole school experience. Be prepared for an old fashioned schooling system where the children AND the parents are expected to listen to the teacher good luck Carol

Gwyneth P 1466865723

Hello Carol, thank you for your input. It's interesting how varied the requirements can be. My husband will be contacting the town hall to get a good idea of what we need to do. Our daughter currently goes to a French school, so hopefully it will make the transition easier. Thanks again, Gwyneth

Anne -867792 1473179169

hi Gwyneth,

My name is Anne ...I have been following your discussion and have a question for you...planning on moving in July too.

What made you decide on a FRENCH school???  My son is currently in the American system and I was thinking of putting him in the international school in Montpellier.

Did you know there is a Montassori school in Castelnau too?

How far are you into your moving process?


Gwyneth P 1473188722

Hi Anne

Our daughter is half French and goes to a French school. Since her school is private, many of the children are from different towns, so it doesn't feel cohesive. It would be really nice to feel like a part of the village, so she could have friends from her own neighborhood. We've considered a private school, but for this reason, I have my reservations about it. Plus, it looks like Jean Moulin is quite good. What are your thoughts concerning this?

Our daughter is 7 years old. How old is your son? 

We have a business to sell, which will go on the market in January - fingers crossed, it will sell quickly and well. Then, we will rent out our house, so more finger crossing! 

Are you from Montpellier? My husband is from closer to Lyon and Saint-Étienne, but he has a good friend who now lives in Pérols. 


Anne -867792 1473552385

Hello Gwyneth,

My son is 11.  First year of middle school here in the US......Not necessarily liking the idea of moving...not fighting it yet but will soon...I have a feeling

As a teacher, I am also looking for a job; visited and interviewed at 3 international schools around Montpellier. 

Not sure WHAT to do with house here yet so I'll probably rent it and go from there.I will for sure keep my fingers crossed for you.

I am not from this part of France originally; I am from Toulon....or was !!!!  I have a friend in Abeihan , which is not too far.  My cousin is in St Remy de Provence...about an hour from this area.

How are you going about housing??


Gwyneth P 1473568366

Hello Anne,

This is a funny format, where I am not even able to message you separately. I can give you my old email address - since this is a public format, I don't feel comfortable giving you my regular email yet: If you care to connect that way, it might be easier!



Gwyneth P 1473607799

Hi again Anne,

11 could be a tough age to make such a big move, but we do adapt! I wonder if he speaks French?

I hope you do find a wonderful international school in which to work. 

We'll rent first and so far, we've just been looking at, just to get a feel of what is on the market for rent and for buying. We want to have time to look at houses in person, and we'll very likely go through a notary. What about you? 


Linda-Brunker-874509 1488825693

Hi all,

Just found your discussion.

I'd like to join as I am also moving from California with my husband and 7 year old daughter. We're planning on going to L'isle Jourdain in Gers though.

Getting pretty stressed out now as I have sold my house in CA and plan to move to France in Mid may.

Will be making a trip to France to find a place to live and try to arrange a school during the last week in march.

Was hoping to send her to a private school called L'ecole Clos Fleuri which has a good name for integrating foreign children but there are no more places! (2 ahead on the waiting list).  I don't know what school she will attend as we don't have a house yet.... Yikes! I'm just hoping that we end up in with a good local school. I'm terrified that my daughter's first experience in French school will not be good....!  My daughter has "no' French as we made a quick decision.

Anyway, enough on that... I'd love to hear your plans for shipping and what you plan to take, etc.... 


Gwyneth P 1488828977

Hi Linda,

So nice! You will be close to Toulouse, correct? 

We may actually move to Perols, south of Montpellier, simply because we have a friend who lives there already. There are two public schools there, but a private school isn't out of the question, either.

We have a business to sell, and we cannot move until that sells. Fingers crossed, we find a buyer ASAP. We'll rent out our house furnished and really just bring our basics, so we'll need to sort of start over in France. We plan to rent at first, and then find a house to buy. Have you found a good shipping company yet? 

I look forward to hearing from you!


Brian-Smith 1488874145

Hello Linda

Welcome to Angloinfo!

You have posted in reply to this thread about schooling and living in France which first appeared in the Languedoc website and I'm delighted to see that you have a reply. I see you are planning a move to Gers so it may be helpful for you to put this post on the Angloinfo Midi Pyrenees website as well as I am sure that people there will be happy to help.

In France, Angloinfo is divided into regions and people do interact across those regiosn but posting directly onto the discussions page on could bring you even more replies.



Join the discussion