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De-schooling: what are the legal procedures?

Dropping out consists of the desire to no longer attend a school. Several reasons may lead to this decision. First, it can come from the choice for parents to offer education to their children directly in the family. Also, it can be linked to the fact that the child himself decides to suspend his schooling because of discomfort with school. There is also the case of young people who stop school at the age of 16 without any reorientation solution. In any case, there are legal mechanisms to regulate this action of deschooling.

De-schooling by parental will

The articles L.131-1 and L.131-2 of the French education code allow parents the option of homeschooling a school-ready child. Thus, it should be noted that it is rather education and not the fact of attending a school that is compulsory. This is made possible in particular by Law No. 2019-791 of July 29, 2019 which takes on, in the action of investigating, its mandatory nature. This is an obligation from the age of 3 years instead of 6 years as it was previously instituted.

Steps to take your child out of school

Deschooling can occur in different scenarios.

  • When the child has never been put in school

His parents must inform the inspector of the academy of the period of his age at the start of compulsory education. This information must be transmitted by letter bearing the motivations that correspond to their choice. They must also do so without forgetting to mention the articles of law raised.

  • If the child is currently attending school
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Parents must send a letter to the academy inspector as well as to the director of the establishment and to the town hall to explain their choice of deschooling. In these two cases, it is simply a question of giving the information of the decision to drop out to the academy inspector. The latter has no right to oppose it.

Obligation to send a child to school

As of the start of the 2022 school year, all children must must be enrolled in a school. Their education in the family will be conditioned by an authorization issued only for the following reasons:

  • ‌the child’s state of health or disability;
  • the practice of sports activities in an intensive way;
  • family homelessness;
  • the specific situation of the child motivating the educational project.

It is planned until 2023-2024, an authorization of right for the parents carrying out, under satisfactory conditions, the instruction at home. Law No. 2021-1109 of August 24, 2021 thus reinforces the monitoring of the principles of the Republic. This authorization, which comes from the State, is only valid for the period of one school year.

In addition, it should be noted that the request for authorization for home instruction must be made to the academic director of the national education services (DASEN). This must be done between March 1 and May 31 inclusive, before the start of the new school year. This request must include all the points provided for by Decree No. 2022-182 of February 15, 2022.

Dropping out of school by choice of the child at age 16

A young person aged 16 can take the decision to interrupt his education because education is no longer compulsory at this age. However, there are many solutions to combat dropping out of school and bring back to school a young person who dropped out of school at the age of 16.

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Law n° 2019-791 of 26/07/2019, in its article L.114-1, establishes an obligation of training for young people until they are 18 years old. It doesn’t matter whether they go to school or not.

As a result, anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 must therefore be either in a school class or in an apprenticeship, or be in employment, civic service, support or social and professional integration.

Local missions have been set up to monitor the monitoring of this obligation. Decree No. 2020-978 of 5/08/2020 indicates the criteria that must be met to comply with this obligation as well as the reasons. The government has created several mechanisms to give young people the opportunity to find their way. These include a toll-free number and the New Chances online platform.