State education in France is free, politically/philosophically neutral & secular.
Education Sector in France
Though the French education system, culture, philosophy may differ from the UK’s, this sector
does look across the channel for ideas.
Great opportunities to be had for innovative products, ICT and English learning resources.
In 2012 state education allowance is €61 billion (+0.9% from 2011, >1/5th of total government
spending) Total education spending in 2011 was €134.8 billion or 7.0% of GDP, average
spending per pupil was €7 560 (primary/€18 041 billion, secondary/€29 435). The 2011-2012
objectives are to increase numeracy, literacy and foreign language acquisition with a major focus
on English Language Learning. State education in France is free, politically/philosophically
neutral & secular. The system is decentralised i.e. responsibility is delocated:
Réctorat Académie (x30)
ξ Educational expenses, staff wages, specific projects.
ξ 6th form: lycée.
ξ Infrastructure, Maintenance, Teaching & IT equipment purchase.
Inspecteurs de l’Education Nationale (IEN) Conseil Général Département.
ξ secondary level: college.
ξ manage teaching staff, financial services, exams, teaching standards, private education
Conseiller principal of the commune.
ξ primary level: école primaire.
ξ material purchase.
English Language Learning: Following “Apprendre les langues - Apprendre le monde” report
(01/2012) the Ministry made 3 priorities to:
rethink teacher rhythms:
ξ primary teacher training programmes implemented from end of academic year
ξ secondary teachers to support primary counterparts
ξ hours for languages training globalised across secondary school from next academic year
promote international mobility:
ξ targets fixed to enable all students to go on language exchange
ξ Specifications are being drawn up for schools/local authorities who finance school trips
ξ by 2016 all language teachers to undertaken a semester in non French speaking country as
part of training
promote lifelong learning:
ξ “English by Yourself” new service developed by national distance learning centre
launched enabling all to learn English using adapted training programmes
ξ The Minister made a plea to television channels to stop dubbing and to favour subtitling
Technology: There is an increased use and a call for digital technology, here are two examples:
ξ “Base élèves premier degree” operational across all state schools since 2009, a
decentralised database managing administrative and educational elements of pupils’
journey through state/private primary education - enables better distribution of pupils in
classes, scholastic path tracking, improves academic and national piloting
ξ Rural Digital Schools (ENR), in 2009 €50 million allocated to 6,700 voluntary schools in
communes with >2,000 inhabitants equipping them with IWB, wifi, computers etc
Experiment – school in the morning, sport in the afternoon: 7,000 pupils in secondary and
high-school are testing a new timetable of school in the morning and sport/art/cultural activities
in the afternoon; results of the 3 yr trial will be out in 2013
Priority education scheme for schools with major academic failure to correct effects of social
and economic inequalities, to promote more teachers and smaller class numbers, more
apprenticeship programmes and after school homework help
ξ Fighting discrimination
ξ Violence prevention
ξ Support for pupils in difficulty: RASED (Réseaux d’aides spécialisées aux élèves en
difficulté) specialised support network for students in primary and elementary levels
Nursery capacity: By 2012, government aim to create approximately 200,000 new spaces for 0-
3 yrs old in crèches and with assistantes maternelles, €1.5 billion invested
Latest export opportunities – Education & Training
Latest export opportunities - France
Getting into the market
ξ Is the product aligned with French curriculum?
ξ Is it adapted and translated to French?
ξ Are you speaking to the correct interlocutor for target academic level?
Consider multiple simultaneous approach:
ξ via Ministry of Education who validates whether a product is aligned with French
curriculum, can potentially reference it online
ξ via teachers that can recommend product if they like it
ξ via IENs that can recommend product to teachers and MoE
Two major buyers are:
UGAP - central purchasing agency selling to public authorities - and CAMIF COLLECTIVITES
- largest private distributor in France.
ξ It is essential to build relationships with French contacts, patience is key, can take up to 4
years to achieve results
ξ It is essential to have French documentation, to conduct initial calls/meetings in French
ξ Head teachers prefer purchasing from agent rather than online, value face-to-face contact,
seeing product, good after-sales service
ξ Price is all important unless product is unique, if not an agent will be essential
ξ Having French presence facilitates answering tenders.
More about doing business in France
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Mia Barclay, British Embassy Paris. Tel: +33 (0)14 451 3248 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
Date: 27-30 October 2012
Date: 21-23 November 2012
Salon Européen de l’Education
Date: 22-25 November 2012
Salon des Maires et des Collectivités Locales
Date: 20-22 November 2012
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events – Education & Training
Latest events – France
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters