In France, at the start of the 2020 school year, non-teaching staff represent approximately 27% of all non-teaching staff working in the public sector under the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sport. Different categories of staff can be distinguished:
- management staff (school heads: headmasters and deputy headmasters of upper secondary schools, principals and deputy principals of lower secondary schools);
- inspection staff (the different inspectorates of the national education system);
- educational staff (principal educational advisers, school life assistants responsible for supporting disabled pupils);
- guidance personnel (guidance counsellors, directors of information and guidance centres, etc.);
- administrative, technical, social and health staff (ATSS), which includes all administrative and management staff, medical and nursing staff and social service assistants, who are responsible for helping students in their daily lives;
- Technical, research and training engineers' (ITRF), who carry out teaching and research support functions in higher education institutions and bodies under the supervision of the Ministry of National Education;
- library and documentation staff;
- Technical, labour and service staff (TOS), responsible for the maintenance and physical operation of the establishments.
At school level, the communes, départements and regions are responsible for the recruitment and management of technical, labour and service staff working in primary, lower and upper secondary schools respectively.
In primary education, schools are not institutions and have no legal personality. The head teacher (called "directeur d'école") is a teacher who has a teaching discharge. Since the promulgation of Law No. 2021-1716 of 21 December 2021, known as the "Rilhac Law", the position of school headmaster has been created, the status is more attractive, the role of the headmaster has been strengthened and now has decision-making power through the delegation of competence by the academic authority.
At secondary level, collèges and lycées have the status of "local public education establishments" (EPLE) with legal personality and autonomy in the administrative, financial and pedagogical fields. The head of the school at these levels of education (known as the "principal" in collèges and the "proviseur" in lycées), together with the Board of Directors which he/she chairs, has a certain amount of leeway in managing the school.
At the higher education level, universities have control over the entire wage bill and are autonomous in managing their human resources. The powers of the university president have been extended, particularly in the recruitment and management of teaching and non-teaching staff.