In France, called the Les Pays des Droits de l’Homme (the “Land of Human Rights”), government officials are stonewalling the fundamental human right of families to homeschool their children.

The situation is extremely worrying for families who want to start homeschooling next September; according to reports, the government has refused 80% of new families who have tried to home educate their kids, with the highest rejection rates coming from Toulouse, Dijon, Grenoble, and Versailles.

And even though France currently faces a dramatic shortage of teachers, the French ministry of education continues to block thousands of parents from giving their children the very best educational experience at home.  

Mass Rejection

The ministry usually gives one of the following reasons for refusal:

  • There is no child-specific situation that would justify homeschooling.
  • The parents have failed to prove that their child can’t attend regular school.
  • The parents have not integrated sports into their homeschool plan.
  • The family’s homeschool plan contains too little detail.

But parents who appeal these refusals run into another roadblock: the appeals procedure only involves a commission of the academy in the appeal proceedings, and no one else has a say in what goes on behind those closed doors. Not the parents. Not the children. Not even representatives from homeschool organizations (in other words, us).

Stonewalled

We’ve requested several meetings with the ministry to rectify this situation, and we’ve received more than a hundred real calls for help from families who want to provide the best education for their children . . . but to no avail.

Many families who believed they would be approved under a provision that permits veteran homeschoolers to continue in the practice are also being refused family instruction for their 3-years-olds, who authorities are classifying as “new candidates” for homeschooling. Considering that the rest of the siblings have already been in school for one or more years (sometimes up to more than 15 years!), this adds injustice to injustice.   

The only remedy for this situation must come from the homeschool community: each family in France must develop a solid and clear case to demonstrate their legitimate intent to homeschool, to provide the best education for their children. This approach ensures the magistrates can’t turn a blind eye . . .

. . . but they need your help. The expenses for legal actions like these can add up very quickly. Whether you’re in France or homeschooling in other regions around the globe, please consider donating to support the fundamental right to homeschool in France.