How can we resolve the serious teacher recruitment crisis that France has been experiencing for several years? For the Ministry of National Education, part of the answer lies in the positioning of competitions and the initial training of teachers. While his administration was once again forced to extend the registration period for competitions by one month, until December 7, due to a lack of sufficient candidates, Gabriel Attal promised announcements in early 2024 on “entry into the profession”.
Since September, the office of the Minister of National Education has initiated consultations with trade union organizations on the attractiveness of the teaching profession, during which different recruitment reform scenarios were presented. The route favored by rue de Grenelle consists of moving the first and second level exams. Since 2022, they have been accessible after a bac +5. The plan is to bring them back at the end of license 3, then to train the winners under trainee status for two years.
This hypothesis resembles an admission of failure concerning the last competition reform, led by former minister Jean-Michel Blanquer, during Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term. The decision to require a master 2 level to take the tests has accentuated the erosion of registrations observed for twenty years and led to a collapse in applications, still very far from their level before 2022.
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Gabriel Attal has also deplored on several occasions a second year of master’s degree in teaching, education and training (MEEF) “exhausting” for students, who must now simultaneously prepare for the competitive examination, validate the master’s degree, write a dissertation but also complete internships, or even a work-study program. For a year already, calls to review recruitment methods have been increasing, among parliamentarians from both the majority and the opposition – the deputy (Les Républicains) for Rhône Alexandre Portier, for example, tabled two bills to move the competition . for bac +3.
Improving initial teacher training
By considering repositioning the competitions earlier, the ministry hopes “expand the pool of candidates”. However, there is no question of renouncing the obligation to validate a bac +5 to be a teacher: obtaining the master 2 would be compulsory at the end of the two years of training after the competitive examination. The winners, who would complete observation courses in the first year and then be part-time in class responsibility in the second, would also be paid for the two years – at least 1,770 euros gross per month are planned.
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