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Is Homeschooling Legal In France

With a long history of providing excellent education to citizens of France, homeschooling has gained prominence in the country over the last decade. Homeschooling is defined as education at home by parental or other private tutors, and no school education is usually taken advantage of. Apart from the overall purpose of providing education to children, it has a more enhanced purpose of allowing students to study topics of personal and family interests.

The laws of France that apply to homeschooling is unclear to many, but the following article will discuss the legality of homeschooling and the factors which govern it.

Is Homeschooling Legal in France?

The French government does not recognize homeschooling as a legally valid form of education in the country. According to the law, all children between the ages of 3 and 16 must attend public or private school. This puts parents who wish to educate their children at home in a difficult situation, as they are unable to do so legally.

However, homeschoolers wanting to pursue an alternative education are allowed to be exempted from French laws and regulations, under certain conditions.

What Are the Laws on Homeschooling in France?

The current laws regarding homeschooling in France are outlined in Article L121-86 of the French Education Code, which states that parents are legally obliged to enrol their children in school. This law also states that it is illegal for parents to teach their children at home without permission from the French Ministry of Education. The ministry can grant exemptions from compulsory school attendance in special cases, where other programs of education are preferred over traditional school-based learning.

What Are the Conditions for Homeschooling in France?

Parents in France who are looking to homeschool their children must apply for an exemption from French laws and regulations, under the special provisions outlined by the Ministry of Education. The application must include the reasons why parents prefer an alternative form of education for their children and the details of any other educational arrangements undertaken.

The Ministry of Education will then examine the case and decide whether or not homeschooling will be allowed in the given situation. Parents may also need to demonstrate that they possess the required qualifications and resources to teach their children successfully. This includes a good level of general knowledge, a solid understanding of the school curriculum, and other resources such as books and materials.

Parents may also be required to submit details of the curriculum they plan to use and a portfolio of the student’s work. The Ministry of Education will then decide whether they are satisfied with the arrangements or require further intervention.

What Happens If You Homeschool Without Permission?

Under French laws, it is illegal to homeschool without permission from the Ministry of Education. If a family is found breaking the law, parents could potentially face legal consequences such as a fine or criminal prosecution. It is also possible for the students to be removed from the home by local authorities and placed in a public school.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling in France?

Homeschooling can be a great option for those looking for an alternative form of education for their children. It allows parents to tailor their child’s learning to their individual needs and interests, and provide flexible scheduling which is suitable for their lifestyle. However, there are some drawbacks to homeschooling which must be considered before making the decision to homeschool.

The main benefit of homeschooling is that it provides an opportunity for children to be taught in a comfortable and safe environment. It also allows parents to teach the topics they feel are most important and to provide their children with a curriculum that might not be available in the traditional classroom.

Furthermore, it allows children to pursue their own interests and provides more one-on-one instruction. On the other hand, homeschooling can also be difficult for parents to manage and can put a strain on family dynamics.

It can also be hard for parents to stay knowledgeable about the curriculum and to ensure their children are getting the best possible learning experience. Furthermore, homeschooled children can miss out on social interactions with their peers and may find it difficult to adjust to a traditional classroom environment.

What Are the Benefits and Challenges of Homeschooling in France?

Homeschooling carries with it a range of benefits, as well as some potential challenges. The most obvious benefit for parents is that it provides a more individualized education for their children, allowing them to choose the materials and topics that are most suited to their children’s learning needs and interests. Furthermore, it allows children to pursue activities they are passionate about in a safe and secure environment, while also fostering independence, self-discipline and self-motivation.

However, there are some potential challenges as well. These include finding suitable teaching materials, staying on top of the curriculum, and finding ways to keep children engaged and motivated.

It also requires a lot of time and commitment from parents, who may need to attend classes or other training sessions in order to stay up to date with the curriculum. And, of course, homeschooling can be isolating for children, meaning they may lack the social interaction they would otherwise get in a traditional classroom setting.

What Are the Alternatives to Homeschooling in France?

For parents in France who are concerned about the legalities of homeschooling, there are a range of other options available. These can include private or religious schools, or programs such as the “early college” program, where children can enter college as early as 9th grade.

Parents may also consider enrolling their children in distance learning courses, which can allow students to access special programs and courses from around the world.


In conclusion, homeschooling is not a legally recognized form of education in France and parents are legally obliged to enrol their children in public or private schools. However, it is possible to apply for an exemption from French laws, under certain conditions.

But before deciding on homeschooling, parents should consider the benefits and challenges presented and also consider the other alternatives available.

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