The Paris Academy wants “more scholarship holders” at Louis-le-Grand and Henri-IV to “expand the elite”

Published on 18 Jan. 2022 at 18: 40Updated on 18 Jan. 2022 at 18: 80

This is a subject that concerns only a few hundred students, but which will put the question of mixing back in the debate, three months from the presidential . The Paris Academy will reform the recruitment of the very prestigious Henri IV and Louis-le-Grand high schools, in order to bring in more scholarship students from September 2022.

The movement has already been launched in other Parisian high schools since 2020, while school segregation was almost five times higher there than in the national average, according to the academy. The latter is pleased with the first results obtained and wishes to go further.

Decrease in “social segregation”

According to the figures released on Monday, the redrawing of the sectors of assignment and the new index of social positioning have made it possible to “reduce” social segregation between establishments of 33 % compared to 2020. School levels are also “more balanced” in all high schools, underlines Julien Grenet, associate professor at the Paris School of Economics and president of the Affelnet reform monitoring committee in Paris.

However, the academy intends to strengthen its action for certain high schools in the 5th and 6th arrondissements, below the developments of other establishments. It will therefore, at the start of the next school year, “expand their recruitment pool to more socially disadvantaged colleges”.

“Stress from kindergarten”

“There is no reason for there to be avoided Parisian high schools”, pleads the rector of the Paris Academy, Christophe Kerrero, who intends to “trivialize orientation” so that there are “fewer school anxiety”. “Hyper-selectivity stresses parents and children sometimes from kindergarten,” adds Claire Mazeron, academic director of the national education services in charge of high schools.

With regard to Henri-IV and Louis-le-Grand, the objective is “that they reach the academic average of the number of scholarship holders while there are today 8% of scholarship holders at the entrance to second” , continues Christophe Kerrero who deplores that these two high schools have “much fewer scholarship holders in secondary than in preparatory class”.

“The 18 % of students in the best schools come from 8% of French high schools”, also recalls Julien Grenet, while Emmanuel Macron has never ceased to advocate more social diversity .

In these two establishments, criticism from families and their teachers is fierce. “It is not a question of attacking the elite but of expanding it, retorts Christophe Kerrero. France needs all the talents. »

Decision within the next two weeks

The academy had indicated to the “World”, at the end of last week, that the recruitment on file would be abolished for the Parisian college students. Since then, the discourse has been more nuanced. “This will not be the current procedure”, we say to the academy, where we specify that we will not see it happen 80 % of scholarship holders at the start of the next school year in these high schools.

The academy is considering “quotas” of students from less privileged colleges and scholarship students, “in proportions that will be understandable by the educational communities”. “You have to change recruitment but go in stages for it to be acceptable,” argues Claire Mazeron. For the moment, the decision is not stabilized. » It must be in the next fortnight.

“There will always be a guarantee that students outside Paris can enter Henri IV and Louis-le-Grand and that all Parisian college students can apply to these high schools, reassures Christophe Kerrero. There will be no development on that. »