A victory for the freedom to teach at home [OPINION]

A fundamental freedom, that of educating one's own children at home, has just been successfully defended before the Toulouse administrative court. On August 4, this court, seized by the firm La Norville, partner of the association Liberté éducation, suspended the refusal of authorization opposed to an IEF (Instruction en famille) family in the Gers, and ordered the rector to issue him authorization to teach at home.

The Toulouse academy had refused this family the authorization to instruct little Marie-Thérèse (3 years old) herself, whose elders are already schooled at home according to an adapted educational project. This family applies an alternative Montessori-type pedagogy that does not exist in schools located near the home. The administrative court, in its order, retained the seriousness and the quality of this educational project with regard to that already at work among the elders of this child, and the positive control carried out by the academic inspection.

This suspension of the refusal of authorization by the judge in chambers is a first. After weeks of legal battles, the judge has just recognized the urgency of granting this authorization given the difficulty of anticipating schooling in a public or private establishment a few weeks before the start of the school year; he also acknowledged the serious doubt marring a very poorly reasoned refusal with regard to the interpretation given to the new law by the Constitutional Council on August 13, 2021.

This success will be able to set a precedent, we hope at Freedom Education. The reason for urgency, in particular, can be used by all families who seize the judge in chambers. The association continues to support other families who have also suffered a refusal of authorization from the academic authorities, with, moreover, highly disparate positions depending on the academies, as recognized by the Minister of National Education Pap Ndiaye, Tuesday August 2 before the National Assembly: “In certain departments, he declared, it is a very massive no”. The rectorate of Toulouse was particularly “zealous” cumulating alone 31% of national refusals. In total, according to the minister, 43% of new requests for family education were refused. Also according to figures from the Ministry of National Education, there will be 50 children educated in the family at the start of the next school year, including 670 new ones. This is a notable decline compared to last year: in 4850-2021, there were respectively 2022 homeschooled children, including 71 new ones. The decline is therefore 553% for home education in France, and more than 9155% for new students. This is the effect of the new law against "separatism" which requires families to provide a file on the basis of which authorization can be granted to them by way of derogation (for example in the event of "disability", "harassment", " homelessness of the family in France" or "its geographical distance from any public school" or even on "the existence of a situation specific to the child motivating the educational project", project of "family life". Suffice to say that the choice is left to the pleasure of the Academy: that of Toulouse had argued: “You are not proving that your child cannot be educated at school” … “What is it? Is this reason for refusal not in the law?!” was indignant Jean-Baptiste Maillard, the general secretary of the Freedom of Education association on Europe 30, on August 40 (audio linked below) .

This new attack on a fundamental freedom in France is all the more significant as the free choice exercised by families has been constantly increasing for more than 15 years. Homeschooling clearly meets a growing need of families in France as elsewhere. But in our country, according to the association Liberté éducation, "more than 2200 children have suffered an unjustified refusal to be educated as a family, often within the same siblings, and many families are currently going before the administrative courts of the country, with the help of our lawyer-partner from the firm La Norville, under agreement with our association, as was the case for little Marie-Thérèse and her family. » 400 families whose moving testimonies are published on the pages FacebookInstagram et Twitter of Freedom Education have asked the association for help. The new situation created by the order of the Administrative Court of Toulouse will have to be confirmed by the trial judge, and by the other administrative courts.

Philip Oswald

source: Europe 1

This article is published from The Selection of the Day.

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