Chances equality and every student’s success are fundamental objectives of the French education policies and are principles that are inscribed in article L.111-1 of the French code of Education. Moreover, the law no. 2013-595 of July 8th, 2013 recognizes that every children share a capacity to learn and improve, and states the principle of an inclusive school. According to this principle, the school has to insure that the environment is adapted to the schooling of a child, whatever the special needs he/she may have.
Specifically, according to the law no. 2005-102 of February 11th, 2005, participation and citizenship of disabled individuals requires the principle of schooling disabled students should be done in an ordinary school in priority. Schooling in special needs institutions thus became an exception.
However, there are mechanisms regarding students with special needs (because of major difficulties and/or a specific socio-economic situation), prone to jeopardize their access to the public service of education. Such cases are disable students, gifted children, children that arrived recently in France, children from itinerant families and juvenile inmates.
Furthermore, priority education policies aim at reducing learning inequalities linked to socio-economic backgrounds. Schools (ISCED 02, 1, 2 or 3) that are in priority education (the list is provided by decree) are organized in networks, they structure their actions around the same educational project and have additional means compared to non-priority education schools. Priority education was reworked in 2014.
The French education system provides along the whole school career of a student mechanisms of school- and job-related guidance. These mechanisms also work towards the objective of every student’s success. If there are mechanisms at the national level, schools themselves have a mission of guidance that translate among other things by the Parcours avenir (future path).
Higher education institutions also have a mission of guidance. They have to establish features to support their students along their whole higher education career up to their transition into the labour market.
Adult guidance, mostly provided by further training and/or job-seeking institutions, aims at streaming individuals towards training programs that give a diploma. These programs may help individuals in the framework of a first insertion, a reinsertion or a reconversion into the labour market.