Home schooling: a choice, but under what conditions?

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Home schooling: a choice, but under what conditions?

After more than twelve hours of heated discussions, the National Assembly validated on February 12, 2021 a new article of law which modifies family education. Judged more

Binding by many, this text replaces the simple declaration by a request for authorization to the services of the State.

Home school, for which children?

Adopted on February 12, this new law is debated. The law provides that the authorization of the Family Instruction (IEF) or Home School, can only be granted for:

  • health reason;
  • handicap ;
  • artistic or sports practice;
  • family homelessness;
  • removal from an establishment;
  • and also in case of situation specific to the child motivating the educational project.

In all these cases, the law mentions that “the best interests of the child” must be respected.

Some numbers …

In France, more than 8 million children are subject to compulsory education. And when we speak of education, this does not mean an obligation to go to school, but an obligation by parents to give education to their children, according to the mode they choose (public, private, out of contract , distance courses, home instruction, etc.).

This obligation is valid for children between 6 and 16 years old according to the education code, articles L131-1 to L131-13.

More and more families are choosing home education. At the start of the 2020 school year, they represent 0,5% of total French students, i.e. 62 children, compared to 000 in 13.

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An increase which alerted the public authorities fearing a rise in radicalization at a young age.

What obligations?

Children educated in families have the objective of reaching the same level of knowledge, reasoning and psychomotor development as children who go to National Education schools. They will have to acquire “the common base of learning and knowledge”.

Each family is free to choose its learning methods, as long as they are in line with the physical and intellectual capacities of the child.

Until now, these families simply had to declare the home education of their children to the town hall and to the academy, being checked once or twice a year by the inspectors of National Education.

What about children with disabilities?

Some children are home-schooled by choice, but most of them out of necessity.

There is indeed a device called Inclusive School, but parents regularly come up against a lack of places, distance from establishments, lack of support or cumbersome administrative procedures to hope for a place in an establishment.


The educational teams, already in great demand, are sometimes even left alone to deal with the various pathologies, for which they do not have the keys, nor the training, nor the time to be able to respond to them.

A non-consented eviction which already imposes many constraints. So, in 2021, this law is worrying.

Some parents of handicapped children and associations, such as AEVE (Association autisme, espoir vers l’école), fear a “cumbersome and uncertain” procedure which risks putting a spade in the wheels “of already overloaded families. ”Since they“ will have to put together a file each year ”.

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“When you know that you have to wait nine months to obtain support through human assistance in schooling or orientation towards a specialized device, what time will be necessary to obtain this authorization? “, Asks for its part the Toupi association which sent a letter to the deputies at the end of December 2020 to defend the interests of students with disabilities.

Toupi fears that National Education requires an opinion from the Departmental House of Handicapped Persons (MDPH), as is the case for registration with the CNED (National Center for Distance Learning). This device is dedicated to sick and disabled children.

Who determines “impossible schooling”?

The impact study of this bill announces that the government will grant the exemption in the event of illness or disability only in limited cases, in which schooling “would be made impossible”.


But who will be able to observe an impossible schooling denounces the AEVE. For autistic children, schooling at “any cost” is not suitable.

“The services of the rectorate will take into consideration the project formed by the parents and all the criteria that will allow them to grant or not this authorization”, replied in December 2020, a source of Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education.

For Bénédicte Kail, national education advisor APF France handicap, “there are a number of situations where this authorization could be experienced in a particularly violent and unfair manner, for example when family education is only a default choice. when the school is far from being inclusive ”.

“There is also the question of the situation of the family awaiting this new authorization when they have been forced to withdraw their child from school, perhaps in an emergency, a decision sometimes imposed by the establishment, for example a school. who refuses to welcome the child without AESH (accompanying a disabled student) because, even if it is illegal, it still happens… ”, continues Bénédicte Kail. Will she be outlawed ??

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“What additional annoyance will we inflict on these families who not only see their children rejected from schools but will also have to ask for an authorization to educate at home those whose school does not want ?! », Adds Marion Aubry, vice-president of Toupi.

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