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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Quality assurance in early childhood and school education


11.Quality assurance

11.1Quality assurance in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023
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Responsible bodies

Central Administration

Ministerial Directorate and Ministerial Statistical Office: the DEPP

The Department of Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance (DEPP) monitors and produces statistics, but also provides expertise and assistance to the MENJS and MESRI. It reports on the state of the training and education system through studies it conducts and research it undertakes with higher education institutions or research organisations. Through the dissemination of all its work and productions, the DEPP helps to inform the public debate on education and training. It specialises in the evaluation of students, the implementation of educational systems and practices. This department calculates performance indicators and is also responsible for studying priority education establishments by providing indicators specific to this policy.

Through its expertise and advisory role, it ensures the coherence and quality of the measurement of the performance of the education system at national and territorial levels. Finally, the DEPP is both a ministerial department and a ministerial statistical service, fully integrated into the official statistics landscape and subject to its standards, which ensures its objectivity and independence.

Ministerial Directorate: DGESCO

The primary mission of the Directorate General for School Education (DGESCO) is to develop educational and pedagogical policy and curricula for primary and secondary schools. In addition, it defines policy on priority education, and leads and evaluates its implementation. As part of the contractualisation process at the level of the academies, it sets the academic authorities their objectives in the field of these missions and evaluates their results.

General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and Research (IGÉSR)

In 1802, France created its first general inspection. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, various general inspectorates were created: for libraries, for youth and for sports, etc. In 2019, the General Inspectorate of National Education (IGEN), the General Inspectorate of the Administration of National Education and Research (IGAENR), the General Inspectorate of Youth and Sports (IGJS) and the General Inspectorate of Libraries (IGB) are merged into the General Inspectorate of Education, Sport and Research (IGÉSR).

The special status of the IGÉSR is governed by Decree No. 2019-1001 of 27 September 2019. In addition to the powers conferred on it by law, the IGÉSR carries out, among other things, inspection, control, audit, evaluation, expertise, support and advisory missions in the fields of education, higher education, research, youth and sports.

Academic authorities

Territorial inspection bodies: IEN and IA-IPR

These inspectors are civil servants of the French State and are assigned to the deconcentrated entities of the Ministry of Education.

The National Education Inspectors (IEN) contribute to the steering of the education system at the academic level. erThose who work in primary education, the IENs 'in charge of primary education districts' (IEN-CCPD) are the most numerous: in 2019-2020, there were 1,461 IENs for primary education. Some of the IENs are responsible for the second level: these are the IENs responsible for technical and general education (IEN ET-EG) provided in vocational schools. The IENs in charge of information and guidance (IEN-IO) work mainly under the authority of the academic director of national education services (DASEN).

Regional educational inspectors (IA-IPR) work in secondary education. They carry out their duties within the framework of the academic work programme, either alone or in groups, depending on their disciplines or specialities (history-geography, English, administration and school life, etc.). They are under the authority of the Rector of the Académie and work in liaison with the Inspectorate General. Their responsibilities are limited to the secondary level.

Together with the IEN ET-EG and IEN-IO, the IA-IPRs are part of the 2nd level inspection and together they count 1887 inspectors. In all, there were 3597 inspectors in 2019-2020 (1er degree, 2nd degree and General Inspectorate of National Education).

Representation of the Ministry at the regional level: Rectors of academies

The Ministry's deconcentrated services are present in every region and department in France. Since 1 January 2020, 18 academic regions have been set up in response to the new regional framework created by the law of 16 January 2015. These academic regions each correspond to one or more academies, maintained within their geographical boundaries that existed prior to the 2015 framework. A rector of the academic region is appointed in each of the academic regions and he/she guarantees in the multi-academic regions the unity and coherence of the State's message, particularly in the fields of competence shared with the regional authority. The academies are headed by rectors of academies, who represent the Minister of National Education within the academy and its constituent departments.

The rectors are key players in the contractualisation between the central administration and the academies. The management dialogue with schools is a means for the academies to study the schools with their own characteristics, to identify their problems, to set objectives to be worked on as a priority and the measures to achieve them.

Representation of the Ministry at departmental level

The academic directors of national education services (DASEN) are responsible for implementing, at departmental level, the academic strategy defined by the rectors. They are deputies of the rector of the academy and his representative at departmental level. The DASENs are, among other things, responsible for evaluating school heads and the implementation of the contractualisation between academies and schools.

Academic statistical services (SSA)

As a ministerial statistical service, the DEPP has relays in the deconcentrated administrative levels, i.e. the academies and the vice-rectorates. These relays, of which there are 33, are the academic statistical services (SSA). They contribute to the quality of the data collected, relating to pupils and schools in the academy, but also to their dissemination at local level and to the production of synthetic analyses of these statistical data. The academic authorities thus have the information they need for decision-making and steering (indicators, forecasts, management charts).

Bodies independent of the MENJS

School Evaluation Board

The School Evaluation Council is created by Article 40 of Law No. 2019-791 of 26 July 2019 for a School of Confidence, which was adopted by Parliament on 4 July 2019 and promulgated in the Journal Officiel on 28 July 2019.

According to Article L. 241-12 of the Education Code, the Conseil d'évaluation de l'école (School Evaluation Council), which reports to the Minister of National Education, is responsible for independently evaluating the organisation and results of school education. It ensures the coherence of the evaluations conducted by the Ministry on the achievements of pupils, educational measures, including those in favour of inclusive schools (aimed at ensuring quality schooling for all pupils from kindergarten to high school by taking into account their particularities and special educational needs), and school establishments.

In addition, it defines the methodological framework and tools for self-evaluations and evaluations of secondary schools conducted by the Ministry of Education and analyses the results of these evaluations. It proposes methodologies for measuring school territorial inequalities and makes any useful recommendations for reducing them. The evaluation framework details self-evaluation and external evaluation, specifies their outlines, principles and methods and provides recommendations. The evaluation of schools is regular and systematic.

The ERC ensures that existing evaluations are consistent. It is made up of personalities from different backgrounds: representatives of the Ministry of Education (DEPP, DGESCO, IGÉSR), parliament, the OECD and academics. This principle ensures an external, neutral and objective view of the performance of schools .

National Education Scientific Council

Created in 2018, the Conseil scientifique de l'éducation nationale (CSEN) is composed of recognised researchers from different disciplines. Its mission is to make the results of research, experimentation and international comparison available to all; to issue recommendations to enrich the initial and in-service training of teachers as well as that of national education managers; to evaluate existing pedagogical and educational tools and propose new ones that have proved their worth; to contribute to the dissemination of a genuine research culture throughout the education system; and finally, to the emergence of an ecosystem of applied research in education. Although it is not an evaluation body as such, the CSEN works in close collaboration with the School Evaluation Council in the performance of its tasks.

Other national bodies

Other general inspections

The Inspectorate General of Social Affairs, an interministerial control body for the social sector, controls, audits or evaluates structures and policies, advises the public authorities and assists in projects. It intervenes at the request of ministers or on the basis of its programme of activity. It deals with subjects affecting the lives of all citizens: employment, work and training, health, social action and family policy, public and private social security systems.

The General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) is involved in the evaluation of the education system through the drafting of various reports.

The Court of Auditors

Founded in 1807, the Court of Audit is the highest authority in the field of public finance. Traditionally responsible for judging the management of the accounts, it now has the task of evaluating public policies, including educational policies. This is the mission entrusted to it by the Constitutional Act of 23 July 2008 on the modernisation of the institutions of the Fifth Republic. In this task, it assists the Parliament. The Court of Auditors addressed priority education in its budgetary report 'Analyses of the execution of the State budget by missions and programmes - financial year 2011 - interministerial mission School education', published in May 2012 and again in a report in 2018.

The Parliament

The task of evaluating public policies is also incumbent on Parliament under Article 24 of the 2008 Constitutional Act. It does so in particular through the cross-sectional body of the National Assembly called the "Comité d'évaluation et de contrôle des politiques publiques", created in 2008. Numerous parliamentary reports published over several decades have contributed to the public debate on education.

The research teams

Generally speaking, the central administration of the Ministry of Education entrusts certain evaluation activities to research teams (university or under the direct supervision of the Ministry), with which they sign agreements. The Interdisciplinary Laboratory for the Evaluation of Public Policies (LIEPP) at Sciences Po conducts research and analyses the functioning and effects of many public policies, such as education policies. In the spheres of public action, it contributes to the public debate and to reflections on evaluation involving other actors (administrative, parliamentary, associative, etc.), with a view to promoting the evaluation process and improving its quality.

The research bodies have different statuses. For example, the Paris School of Economics (PSE) is a foundation: it currently holds, under the aegis of the DEPP, among other things, the research chair "Educational Policies and Social Mobility", whose ambition is to shed light on the mechanisms of unequal access to education and to determine the policies and actions likely to correct them.


Set up in 2009 by Article 25 of Law No. 2008-1249 of 1er December 2008, the Fonds d'expérimentation pour la jeunesse (FEJ) aims to finance experimental programmes involving external evaluators. These programmes aim to promote the academic success of pupils, contribute to equal opportunities and improve the sustainable social and professional integration of young people under 25.

Observatories and networks of expertise

These various bodies also contribute to the evaluation of the education system as 'second-tier' actors, most of them not having the official mission of evaluation or the role of more or less regular evaluator. In addition to trade unions (such as the Fédération des parents d'élèves de l'enseignement public - PEEP), there are institutions such as 'think tanks' like the Institut Montaigne. Their work carries different weight in the public debate, particularly with regard to school failure.  

International organisations

As regards international bodies, the DEPP contributes to the development of international education indicators. To this end, it collaborates actively within the networks of the OECD, the European Commission (and Eurostat in particular), UNESCO and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). In France, it pilots the international surveys on student skills, PISA with the OECD, TIMSS, PIRLS or ICILS with the IEA, and the TALIS survey on teachers with the OECD.

In addition, it contributes to putting European statistics into perspective, to the exchange of information between the countries of the "Erasmus +" programme and to the comparison of their education systems. In this context, it takes an active part in the Eurydice network and coordinates the work of experts who participate in the network's international reports.

Approaches and methods for quality assurance

The French education system is evaluated by a wide range of mechanisms that report on its quality. The design and development of evaluation methods involve collaboration between different actors.

Evaluation of schools (ISCED 0 and 1)

Public schools of the 1er level (pre-elementary and elementary education) do not have financial and legal autonomy. They are headed by school headmasters, who have the status of teachers and limited responsibilities. Therefore, schools are not evaluated at this stage through external evaluation. However, there are tools available for school teams to evaluate their pedagogical practices and some of their schools' results.

The steering and self-evaluation tool (APAE) provides a wide range of statistical indicators to describe schools and districts, on various themes: pupil numbers and pathways, personal characteristics. This makes it possible to facilitate the pedagogical management of schools. The APAE indicators are intended for the IENs, as well as for all the staff of the rectorate in charge of primary education. Some thirty indicators currently constitute the common core. Built by the DEPP, they are harmonised in their definitions, accompanied by references on the district, the department, the academy and the whole of France.

The evaluation of secondary schools (ISCED 2 and 3)

The vast majority of secondary schools have the status of local public education establishments (EPLE), created by the first decentralisation law of 1983. This status gives them a legal personality. Placed under the responsibility of a head teacher, they are managed by a board of directors and have a relative administrative, financial and pedagogical autonomy. Each school must draw up a school project, which defines the conditions under which the national educational programmes must be implemented in the school. In particular, it must specify the school and extracurricular activities organised in the school.

General framework for the evaluation of institutions

In December 2020, the School Evaluation Board defined the general framework for institutional evaluation. The evaluation is carried out in two phases:


A set of data and indicators is defined by the School Evaluation Council for all schools. This set of data and indicators can be completed by the academies by requesting the local authorities, but also by the school itself according to its needs.

A self-evaluation guide has been drawn up by the School Evaluation Council and is intended to be enriched and contextualised at the level of the academy and/or the school. It proposes evaluative questions and tools are made available to them so that they can build their self-evaluation around these areas. The self-evaluation will be the subject of a report which is presented to the board of directors for information. It is intended for the external evaluators, forms part of the evaluation file and will be communicated to the academic authorities and to the local authority.

External evaluation

This external evaluation puts the self-evaluation into perspective by means of a distanced analysis of the indicators and the documents in the self-evaluation file, an overall observation of the school and in-depth discussions with all those involved in the success of the pupils. It aims above all to identify strengths, weaknesses and possible progress in order to guarantee solid achievements for all pupils in the school. It does not result in any ranking or evaluation of staff or headteacher.

The external evaluation has three stages:

  • Preparation of the mission
  • The visit to the school
  • Drafting of the provisional report, the exchange during the return of the report to the institution and the drafting of the final report

Each year, at the end of the school year, the Rector of the Académie sends the School Evaluation Council the results of the evaluations carried out during the previous school year, the proposed programme for the coming school year and a summary of the feedback that will contribute to the continuous improvement of the evaluation process. At the request of the Council, it also provides the evaluation reports. In the same way, the ministry responsible for agriculture sends the ERC the results of evaluations of agricultural education and vocational training establishments.

This framework is intended to be made available to all schools participating in the public education service, whether public or private under contract, the latter respecting their own character. The purpose of these assessments is to provide input for the EWC's annual report, which is made public, and to develop the present framework if necessary.


Evaluations of secondary schools (ISCED 2 and 3) are carried out by the board of governors under the guidance of the head teacher and in conjunction with the inspectorate. Headteachers have at their disposal tools created and made available by the DEPP: aids to steering and self-evaluation (APAE), and indicators of added value in secondary schools (IVAL). The implementation of the LOLF reinforces this evaluation logic: from now on, in each school, a contract of objectives defines the objectives to be reached in a multi-year period. These indicators, specified in the contract, should make it possible to assess (or not) the achievement of the objectives.


The EAPA indicators (see above) are intended primarily for head teachers and inspectors. They are not made public. On the one hand, they provide information on the characteristics of the school's student population and on the human resources and time resources available to it.


The Directorate for Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance (DEPP) has set up indicators to evaluate the specific action of each lycée and collège, i.e. what the establishment has 'added' to the initial level of its pupils. These indicators are public and can be consulted on the website of the Ministry of Education. The indicators are intended to give an account of the results of the national public education service and to provide school managers and teachers with elements for reflection to help them improve the effectiveness of their actions. The use of these indicators enables schools themselves to form a picture of their added value.

They also provide information on the school's performance: this is identified by means of the 'added value' which measures the school's own effect ('school effect') and makes it possible to characterise the 'type' of school (selective or not). This 'school effect' provides information both on the way in which the school succeeds or fails to make pupils succeed in the final year of secondary school and on the way in which it succeeds in guaranteeing pupils (from the time they enter the second year of secondary school) a successful academic career in three or four years. The data cover five school years and make it possible to situate the school in relation to the department, the académie and the national level.


InserJeunes is an essential resource to help young people and their families make a better choice of training after the third year on the vocational track, after the vocational lycée or a CFA, thanks to clear information on the employment integration rates of the different streams.

Financed by the Fonds de transformation de l'action publique, this new device uses a matching of schooling follow-up data and social data on employees from the Ministry of Labour to reconstitute the integration pathway of young people after the end of their studies.

InserJeunes provides for each training course, each vocational school or apprentice training centre, several indicators in order to identify the pathways of young people in vocational education and their integration:

  • The rate of further study,
  • The employment rate of young people at exit,
  • Data on the progress of young people through the various training courses and the rate of termination of apprenticeship contracts.

At the beginning of 2021, the first results of the new system for measuring the professional integration of young people leaving vocational training courses will be published.

Steering dialogue between schools and academies

For academies, dialogue with the school is often described as a means of studying the school, with its own characteristics, identifying its problems, setting objectives to be worked on as a priority and the measures to achieve them.

It is also a means, through a detailed knowledge of the schools, to intervene in support of certain projects and to make a qualitative assessment of possible changes in the margins to be allocated to schools. It is also an opportunity to discuss pedagogical issues with schools, including sometimes with their teaching teams.

Evaluation of academies

Within the DGESCO, the Office of strategies and performance of the academies is responsible for preparing, organising and monitoring the conclusions of the strategic management and performance dialogue between the academy rectors and the central administration. It is also responsible for drawing up multi-year contracts of objectives and performance, as well as evaluating their interim results, between the rectors of the education authorities and the central administration.

Contractualisation is a means of setting quantified objectives that should enable education authorities to highlight their added value by emphasising their margins for progress in supporting all pupils. In return, the central administration must give the academies additional flexibility. The policy based on contractualisation gives the actors on the ground greater autonomy and responsibility. Each year, the strategic management and performance dialogue is renewed, enabling the central administration and the heads of the education authorities to share a diagnostic analysis and a strategy covering all of the Ministry's programmes.

The Mélusine application provides a computerised medium for sharing approximately 400 indicators between the central administration and the academies. In particular, it publishes the indicators of the LOLF programmes of the 'school education' mission, as well as certain context indicators and academic summary sheets. Finally, the application makes it possible to assess the results of the academies and departments as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of the policies that the academies implement. Indeed, the software generates a 'performance radar', thanks to which an academy can compare itself to the national level, from the point of view of the context (favourable or unfavourable), the resources allocated and the results obtained.

Assessment of individuals

Pupil assessment

Mastery of the common core of knowledge and skills: Single school record

When pupils first enrol in elementary education, a 'single' digital school record book is created to monitor their knowledge and skills in relation to the objectives of the programmes and the common base of knowledge, skills and culture. The single school booklet was introduced by decree n°2015-1929 of 31 December 2015 for the start of the 2016 school year. This booklet will be used for the entirety of the pupil's schooling from elementary education to the end of the first cycle of secondary education, and therefore covers cycles 2, 3 and 4 in a coherent manner. Assessments of the schooling cycles are reported by teachers, among others, so that they can attest to the level of their pupils. They are based on the achievements, progress and difficulties observed in the pupils.

Passing the class

According to Article D321-15 of the Education Code, in pre-elementary and elementary schools, a pupil's progression in each cycle is based on a proposal from the teachers' council. The cycle teachers' council formulates its opinion concerning the passage of a pupil through the school system: a simple passage, an advancement of one year or the repetition of a year may be proposed. The teacher council can only decide on one repetition or one shortening of a cycle during a pupil's entire schooling in elementary school. The school director transmits the proposals made to the parents. The parents can contest them within 15 days, by lodging a reasoned appeal with the Inspector of the Academy, Director of Departmental Services of National Education, who will give a final decision.

In secondary education (1er and 2nd cycles), the procedures for moving from one class to another meet the provisions set out in the legislative part of the Education Code (article L331-8) and the regulatory part (article D331-23 et seq.). According to these provisions, depending on the assessment report, the parents of the pupil make a request to move up to the next class, a request for guidance or to repeat the year. This is examined by the class council, which takes into account all the information gathered by its members and in turn makes a proposal for promotion or repetition. When they are in line with the requests, the head teacher takes the decisions and sends them to the parents. When they do not comply with the requests, the head teacher receives the parents of the pupil, informs them of the proposals and collects their observations. He then takes the decision. If the disagreement persists, the parents (or the pupils of age) have the possibility of appealing to an appeal commission chaired by the Inspector of the Academy, who gives a final decision. The teachers' council and the class council are the key moments of the evaluation of the level and the achievements of the pupils during the school year.


There is no examination at the end of elementary schooling that determines the transition to the next grade and orientation in lower secondary education. All students automatically transfer to lower secondary school unless the teacher concerned objects. There is no document certifying completion of primary schools.

Diplomas and certificates, issued by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research and recognised at national level, can be awarded to collège students. Obtaining these diplomas and certificates is not necessary to continue schooling at the lycée.

  • The Certificate of General Education (CFG);
  • The National Diploma (DNB).
  • The computer and internet certificate (B2i) ;

The end of upper secondary education is marked by the baccalauréat. This diploma, which was created by the decree of 17 March 1808, is also a condition for access to higher education and represents the first university degree.

There are three types of baccalaureate, corresponding to the three routes of study at the lycée:

  • General Baccalaureate ;
  • Technological baccalaureate ;
  • Professional Baccalaureate.

The general and technological baccalaureates are very clearly oriented towards the pursuit of higher education (university, classes préparatoires aux grandes écoles, sections de techniciens supérieurs, instituts universitaires de technologie). To obtain the baccalauréat, students must pass a national examination.

At the vocational school, pupils can also prepare, in 2 years, the certificate of vocational aptitude (CAP) or the vocational studies certificate (BEP). After the CAP, students can enter the world of work directly. These two diplomas are now optional for the vocational baccalauréat.

Evaluations as an aid to educational steering

The DEPP designs and provides all those involved in the education system with indicators and tools to assist in evaluation, management and decision-making. In addition, it helps to inform the public debate on education and training by disseminating all its work, surveys and productions, particularly on the situation of pupils.

 Comprehensive assessments of student achievement in CP and CE1

Since the start of the 2018 school year, all CP and CE1 pupils in public and private education under contract have taken assessments in French and mathematics to enable their teachers to better position their pupils, in order to better support their learning. In CP, these assessments enable teachers to complete the summaries of learning outcomes at the end of the kindergarten section for each of their pupils. As these assessments are national and exhaustive, they take the form of exercise books provided by the Ministry. In both CP and CE1, pupils' results are entered by teachers on a dedicated national digital platform. Individual results are made available only to the school, with the teacher having a profile for each pupil, and pupil results are transmitted to parents. The data are then anonymised and, once aggregated, are made available to the district inspectors for steering purposes.

Comprehensive assessments of pupils' learning in the 6th grade

Since September 2017, all sixth form pupils in public and private education under contract have taken standardised assessments in French and mathematics at the beginning of the school year via an online platform. This enables their teachers to have an overview of certain skills and knowledge of each pupil and to encourage the development of teaching methods adapted to their needs. It also makes it possible to support pedagogical management in schools and in the context of school/college continuity. With this in mind, reading comprehension in French and problem solving in mathematics are the subject of a specific evaluation. A detailed report on each student's answers allows teachers and students to assess their level of mastery in these two areas. In addition, a positioning sheet is distributed to the pupils after the fluency test.

Comprehensive assessments of student achievement in the second year of secondary school

At the beginning of the year, students entering the general and technological or vocational second year take placement tests in French and mathematics. These tests make it possible to identify the achievements and needs of each pupil with a view to offering them personalised support and remedying any difficulties they may have. In addition, the results of this assessment provide a snapshot of pupils' knowledge and skills in French and mathematics at the start of secondary school, both nationally and in each académie.

Sample assessments: Cedar

Since 2003, the French Ministry of Education has implemented standardised assessments based on samples at national level, which complement the OECD's PISA survey. The Cycle des Évaluations Disciplinaires Réalisées sur Échantillons (Cedre) measures students' skills at the end of primary schools (CM2) and at the end of secondary school (3ème ). Each year, a subject area of the curriculum is assessed within the framework of a rolling 6-year cycle. In elementary education, the areas assessed are

  • Language skills ;
  • Foreign languages ;
  • History-geography and civic education ;
  • Experimental sciences ;
  • Mathematics.

Monitoring and evaluation in the context of student panels

Describing and understanding the educational trajectories of pupils in the education system: this is the objective of the eight panels that the DEPP has set up since 1973. The principle of the panels is to follow the educational trajectory of a sample of pupils entering a given level at a given date (CP, 6e, etc.).

The 2021 panel will concern, for the first time, entrants to the nursery section. Like its predecessors, it will be based on annual observation of the pupils' school situation, regular questioning of their families, and regular measurements of their cognitive and conative skills, as well as observation of their teachers' practices. This panel will be made up of approximately 35,000 pupils enrolled in PS in 2021/2022 in 1,700 nursery classes spread throughout the country. At the start of the 2021 school year, the pupils will be assessed by observation by their teacher, who will complete an observation grid. Some of them, selected at random, will also take a test using a tablet application. A questionnaire will be sent to their families in the spring of 2022, describing the family and social environment, childcare arrangements prior to starting school, and the family's level of involvement and expectations in education. Teachers will also be surveyed, in order to gain a better understanding of the different educational arrangements available to pupils.

Teacher evaluation

State employees or contractual agents under public or private law, teachers in primary and secondary education are evaluated by the territorial inspection bodies. The framework for the action of the IENs and IA-IPRs is the academic project, drawn up by the rector. Based on this project, the academic work programme (P.T.A.), which is defined by the rector and the academic correspondent of the Inspectorate General, establishes the educational and teaching priorities of the academy. It sets quantitative and qualitative objectives for the inspectorates in terms of improving the quality of teaching and school results. The P.T.A. specifies these objectives by subject or by speciality.

Teachers are assessed at several stages in their careers: at the time of the competitive examination, at the end of the professional training period with a view to tenure and, since 2017-2018, four career interviews to take stock of their career in an in-depth and objective manner. The new PPCR system (professional career paths, careers and remuneration) links evaluation to career development and progression on the index scale.

The career review is a time dedicated to looking back on a period of professional life (on average every 7 years), at times when it seems relevant to take stock of the path taken professionally. This is a time for exchanging views on the skills acquired and on the prospects for professional development. The reform of the evaluation system has put an end to grading and to the three levels of promotion in favour of new methods of assessing professional value. Career advancement within the body is reflected in the advancement of the step and, if necessary, the advancement of the grade.

Since 1 January 2017, the rate of progression is single and linear. To reach the last step of the normal grade, it will now take 26 years, similar to other category A civil servants. There are now three different grades:

  • Normal class ;
  • Senior ;
  • Exceptional class.

At the end of the first two career meetings (of the 6th and 8th steps), staff members can benefit from a gain of one year on the duration of the step. The third career meeting (9ème step) also serves to determine the earlier or later moment of passage to the hors-classe. Finally, the evaluation of teachers has little correlation with the evaluation of pupils. While teacher evaluation is concerned with judging the quality of their teaching, it is hardly concerned with verifying the extent to which teachers contribute to the progress of pupils in the acquisition of knowledge and skills.

The evaluation of head teachers (ISCED 0 and 1) and school principals (ISCED 2 and 3)

School headmasters

They are evaluated as teachers with a view to their practices as headmasters. Headmasters are therefore also subject to career appraisals. As the primary school is not autonomous, the responsibility of headmasters is limited.

A law is currently under discussion in Parliament concerning a possible change in the role of the head teacher.

Heads of school

Headteachers of public secondary schools are evaluated every three years by the DASEN of their department. When they are assigned to a new school, and every three years thereafter, headteachers must provide the DASEN with a diagnosis including an overall analysis of the school and its operation as well as a proposal for the implementation of three areas of progress in the medium term. The school's EAPA performance indicators must be included.

After analysing the diagnosis, the DASEN convenes the headteacher for an interview in order to determine together the framework and objectives of the actions to be taken, taking into account the proposed areas for progress. This interview gives rise to a letter of mission sent by the DASEN to the head teacher. At the end of the three-year period, the headteacher is invited to an interview with the DASEN to assess the work and results obtained in the light of the objectives set out in the letter of assignment. The headteacher must first draw up an activity report and send it to the DASEN a few days before the interview. The headteacher is assessed on his or her activity report, on the achievement of the objectives set out in the mission statement, but also on his or her management of the school. For each of these areas, the headteacher receives an assessment which may be supplemented by observations or recommendations from the DASEN.

The Ministry of Education has created the OAPE website to help school heads evaluate their school's policy. The OAPE site is composed of four types of tabs:

•    Five diagnostic tabs corresponding to the five pillars of the 'settlement effect';

•    A summary tab of the results of the diagnostic tabs;

•    A radar graphic tab showing the results of the diagnosis;

•    A resource tab.

Head teachers are the primary users of this tool, but other members of the school community can also use it.

Evaluation of educational policies and actions

Evaluation of educational policies and experiments

The educational policies implemented to improve student achievement and the results of the education system are evaluated mainly by ministerial departments, the IGÉSR and other national bodies.

The IGÉSR's Establishments, Territories and Educational Policies section covers all issues relating to educational policies (apart from teaching content), their organisation, operating methods and means of action in the school sector, including school climate and life, guidance and educational support.

The DEPP contributes to the steering of the education system by producing or accompanying work aimed at evaluating educational policies or experiments. Its work thus aims to report on the effects of reforms or experimental schemes and to provide evidence to shed light on their implementation and relevance. In 2020, the DEPP, in collaboration with research teams, continued the evaluation of the doubled CP in priority education and that of the 2015 Digital Plan. These multidimensional evaluations make it possible to describe the deployment methods of the measures evaluated and to identify the short- and medium-term effects on pupils' learning and career paths. Within this framework, the DEPP also endeavours to document potential mechanisms by studying changes in teaching practices. The DEPP supports numerous research teams conducting evaluations: for example, the evaluation of the Sourdun boarding school by the PSE, or the experiments conducted by the PSE and Sciences Po Paris on social mixing in colleges.

Finally, other bodies contribute to the evaluation of educational policies and experiments such as the EYF (see above).

Evaluation of teaching practices

The evaluation of teaching practices consists of studying different aspects of the teaching profession in different contexts, in order to provide tools for reflection to characterise professional practices.

The DEPP's Periodic Survey on Education (EPODE) was implemented in 2018 in collaboration with teachers and school managers. This is the first survey to analyse teaching processes at national level, in both primary and secondary education, and their evolution. The survey adopts a specific approach by giving teachers the opportunity for the first time to express themselves on the feasibility of the various practices recommended to them and on the importance they attach to them.

In 2019, the DEPP published the results of its survey on content-specific teaching practices (PRAtiques d'Enseignement Spécifiques aux COntenus - PRAESCO), developed in collaboration with university researchers in mathematics didactics, and conducted in elementary and middle school. The survey carried out in elementary education addresses the pedagogical practices of CM2 teachers in mathematics from a general point of view and in greater depth on certain themes of the programme. The study conducted in the lower secondary school addresses the teaching practices of mathematics teachers in the ninth grade, from a general point of view, but also, in greater depth, from a didactic point of view, in connection with the theme of literal arithmetic. The survey also provides some information on the teachers' training, seniority or working context.

Talis is an international survey initiated by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The latest Talis results date from 2018 and are available in the form of publications from the Directorate for Evaluation, Forecasting and Performance (DEPP) and the OECD. They focus on the evolution of practices in relation to the changing educational landscape, motivations to become a teacher, job satisfaction and teacher education.

Evaluation of priority education and territories

The priority education policy aims to reduce the gaps in success between pupils in priority education and those who are not. It gives priority to pedagogical action, encourages collective teamwork, support and training for teachers in order to develop coherent, caring and demanding pedagogical and educational practices adapted to the needs of the pupils and designed for the long term. A reference framework for priority education has been drawn up to guide the action of the networks by proposing principles of action based on the experience of staff, the contributions of research and the expertise of the general inspectorates.

The DGESCO defines and leads the priority education policy and the policy for territories with specific social or geographical difficulties. It evaluates the implementation of this policy and produces a national scorecard on priority education. It is broken down by academy and includes a series of indicators on the context, academic success and orientation, on the levers, measures and resources implemented. It makes it possible to monitor the differences between schools in the priority education system and those outside it over the last five years. The document also includes cost elements (specific cost overall and per pupil for priority education). It is used in the strategic, management and performance dialogue between the DGESCO and the académies. Other bodies are directly involved in the evaluation of priority education, in particular the Cour des Comptes, which published a report on this subject in 2018.

Furthermore, knowledge of the regions is essential for understanding educational policies and their results, and for steering these policies in the regions. For reasons relating to history, training policies, and the activity and practices of locally based companies, the vocational route and apprenticeship have developed differently from one region to another.

This is why the DEPP produces a wide variety of indicators and analyses on the education system, which are broken down by territory in order to compare the multiple dimensions at stake in educational success for each of the territories. In addition, in 2020, it carried out innovative work that provided a better understanding of the disparities between the different regions of France. For example, an original study was carried out using secondary school student databases, highlighting the way in which the academies differ in terms of the weight of vocational specialities. In 2021, two publications on the territories will be produced in order to give the keys to reflection to the actors of education to carry out their diagnosis of the territory, to support the implementation of policies and the public debate but also to give them elements of comparison for the improvement of their own territory.

Evaluation of digital equipment and its use in education

The evaluation of digital equipment and its use in education predates the health crisis, but it is an even greater challenge today in a context where all actors in the education system have had to increase their use of digital technology.

The DEPP is conducting an evaluation of the effects of digital technology on student learning with the help of the Longitudinal Evaluation of Activities Related to Digital Education: ELAINE. This is a scientific study to describe the place and uses of digital technology in schools and to better understand the nature and diversity of the effects on students' skills. The study is based on skills tests administered to pupils and also interviews teachers and educational managers via online questionnaires. Groups of schools (schools and colleges) were set up to monitor panels of pupils in schools that were beneficiaries of the Digital Plan (tablet allocations) and in comparable schools that were not.

The ELAINE study is not an evaluation of the performance of an individual student, teacher or school. It is concerned with the place of digital technology in the management of schools and in teaching practices and its potential effects on pupils' skills. However, as with any scientific approach, it does not presuppose any results regarding the effects to be expected from greater integration of digital technology in schools.

The Digital Education Directorate (DNE) is responsible for evaluating digital education, with the aim of giving it coherence, building a scoreboard and steering the various collections and surveys.

  • Launched in 2011, the national PROFETIC survey aims to find out about teachers' practices in the use of digital technology and to provide information to promote dialogue with local authorities.
  • EVALuENT is a framework for evaluating the use of ENT, on the basis of which annual surveys are conducted. These surveys, which are offered alternately in primary and secondary education, provide qualitative indicators at national level and allow for longitudinal monitoring.

Evaluation of the education system

General framework

The creation of the Conseil de l'évaluation de l'Ecole (School Evaluation Council) in 2019, by the law for a School of Confidence, had as its main objective the coherence of existing evaluations. Independent in its work programme, opinions and recommendations, the ERC promotes the development of the most complete, objective and constructive evaluation possible.

All aspects of the evaluation of the education system are concerned, apart from the evaluation of personnel, which is statutory in nature: student achievement, educational systems, school establishments, including the methodologies, tools and results of evaluations organised within the framework of European or international cooperation programmes, for example the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa). In addition, many actors are involved in the evaluation of the French education system . Systemic evaluation actors use a wide variety of methods, ranging from standardised student assessments to thematic public reports, large-scale surveys and modernisation audits .

The DEPP participates in the quality assurance of the education system by providing statistical data and analyses on the education system. The DEPP summarises these data in various publications, starting with its annual publication Etat de l'Ecole, which brings together thirty indicators that appear essential for analysing our education system. Other DEPP publications help to refine this initial diagnosis:

  • Repères et références statistiques, a yearbook of official education statistics, which sets out these indicators at fine levels
  • Geography of the School which declines these approaches according to the territory
  • The Europe of Education: Key Figures responds to this need for expertise by providing decision-makers, the entire educational community and all those concerned with educational issues with a wide variety of international indicators and analyses, contextualised for each of the European countries.

Finally, in addition to these works, the DEPP publishes Notes d'informations which provide a 4-page update on education-related subjects. Finally, the DEPP is responsible for the journal Éducation & formations, created in 1982, an institutional journal of a scientific nature. This journal is intended for all those involved in the education system, evaluation and official statistics. It welcomes original studies - results of surveys or evaluations, methodological research in the social sciences, methods of analysis of public statistics - in the field of education and particularly from the educational sciences. Its objectives are to inform anyone interested in the field of education and to contribute to the public debate by providing analyses and reflections that facilitate knowledge and understanding of the education system and its evolution, through evaluations of the reforms that shape it, and international comparisons. This journal thus contributes to the evaluation of the education system by publishing quality studies on the education system and on educational public policies.

The crisis context: Covid-19

To shed light on the consequences of the health crisis, the DEPP has devised different approaches based on several devices. Its aim is to establish objective findings but also to assess the impacts and to report on inequalities. The DEPP has also sought to gather the feelings of those involved in the education system: teachers, school heads, CPEs, inspectors, pupils and families.

The DEPP has devised different approaches based on several statistical devices: either by setting up new operations, or by exploiting existing devices, or by adding questions to surveys already planned. This system makes it possible to draw up a report, evaluate certain impacts and account for inequalities. In this way, the effects of the health crisis on education can be measured.