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Choice of school / transport refused??


Washy

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Help, some advice for a friend please.  Her daughter enroled at Couiza college last Friday, as previously arranged with that school last May.  No problem with that but when my friend rang the Conseil General regarding school transport the fonctionnaire was rather aggressive and said she had gone to the 'wrong' school and should be at Lezignan college, and as such refused school transport.  My friend had chosen Couiza school as it is a smaller school, her friend goes there and we have spent all summer contating other parents and students to make friends before she goes there.....?

The Conseil General says the only way they will accept that she goes to this school, which they consider to be out of area, is if the school is offering her daughter some form of 'support'.  The difficulty appears to be that the village is right in the middle of the two catchment areas.  We are in a very rural area of the Languedoc Rousillon both villages are on the main D613 between Couiza and Narbonne.  We live in Laroque de Fa and my friend in Felines Termenes just 5Km away but right on the cut off point.  Now she has started school at Couiza she does not want her to change to Lezignan especially as she has only been used to such a small school in the UK.

Does one have any right at all to choose schools in France?  We are thinking of giving my address as her daughter's weekly residence.....any advice please?

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[quote]Help, some advice for a friend please. Her daughter enroled at Couiza college last Friday, as previously arranged with that school last May. No problem with that but when my friend rang the Conseil ...[/quote]

If the girl attends a collège public then generally only way she can legitimately attend one that isn't her catchment school is by applying for a "dérogation", which has to be justified somehow. So what the chap at the Conseil Général said is correct - if the school offered something that her catchment school doesn't then she may allowed to attend the other. Are they threatening to make her move?

Parents have been known to use friends' or relatives' addresses to get their children into the school of their choice. Over-subscribed schools may check on this or may need proof that she lives at your address, so tread carefully if you choose this solution!

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My daughter has just started college in a Lycee way out of her catchment area. We looked at several colleges and have been accepted in the one of our choice which is a private college linked to a Lycée. They do "expect" children to attend the local colleges, public or otherwise, but I was told we have freedom of choice. Private and public are not the same as the definitions in the Uk of the same establishments.

When we stated that she was going to a different college than her classmates from her école primaire it was given raised eyebrows all round. The Conseil General were involved regarding the prise en charge of the transport fees , which were refused by the way. I always thought that the schools made the decisons on who they accept and not the C.G.

Paul

 

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My daughter has just started college in a Lycee way out of her catchment area. We looked at several colleges and have been accepted in the one of our choice which is a private college linked to a Lycée. They do "expect" children to attend the local colleges, public or otherwise, but I was told we have freedom of choice. Private and public are not the same as the definitions in the Uk of the same establishments.

When we stated that she was going to a different college than her classmates from her école primaire it was given raised eyebrows all round. The Conseil General were involved regarding the prise en charge of the transport fees , which were refused by the way. I always thought that the schools made the decisons on who they accept and not the C.G, but obviously not in the public schools.


Paul

 

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Washy, it's not clear what kind of school transport she's expecting.

We're in L-R too, the collège bus has a clearly defined route using the public bus stops, and if you want to use it you pay your 280 euros a year and you get yourself to the bus stop from wherever you live.

Elsewhere in L-R, local govt believes that every child has the right to be transported to school, so will provide minibuses or even taxis for children who live in out-of-the-way places, and school buses are cheap or even free.

Maybe your area runs the first kind of service, but your friend is expecting the second kind?

 

 

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One does have the right to chose schools in France, - between the private and the public section. A school may accept a child if they have a place. Otherwise, as has been noted you need a dérogation. Basically if your child wants to do an option that is only available in that particular school, like a rare language or something, they will probably get it. But I think your friend is a bad position to argue her case, if there is transport available to one school, then she choses another I can't see her being met with much sympathy. Dérogation mainly works for the lycée. The conseil general of the department organises the budget for collèges, for lycées it is the conseil de région (and the commune for primary schools). Unlike the UK school have practically no control over their budgets.
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We this situation seems to be sorting itself out.  We have found several families from my friend's village with children at the school which is technically out of area.  It also seems the bus is paid for them.  At the moment things are working well, the girl is driven by her mum along the 2 Km track and then the 5Km to our village to pick up the bus.  We are gong to see the community advisor tomorrow, forgotten the title in french but she helps locals in rural parts with such problems and form filling etc.  Apart from this she is enjoying school, thank goodness.....
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