The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE; ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse) is responsible for school education at the levels of elementary (pre-primary and primary) and secondary education.
Overarching central structures, as listed in the national Education code, are the following bodies:
- Higher Council of national Education (CSEN; Conseil Supérieur de l’Éducation Nationale), whose members belong to the following four groups:
- Parents, students and pupils
- Teaching staff
- School authorities
- Representatives of the economic, social, associative and cultural world
- Coordination service for educational and technological Research and Innovation (SCRIPT; Service de Coordination de la Recherche et de l’Innovation pédagogiques et technologiques)
- Centre for educational and psychosocial follow-up and support (CePAS; Centre psycho-social et d’accompagnement scolaires)
- Training institute of national education (IFEN; Institut de formation de l’éducation nationale)
- House of guidance (MO; Maison de l'orientation)
- National Observatory on school quality (Observatoire national de la qualité scolaire).
Since the entry into force of the law of 18 June 2018, the Ministry of Education also offers all members of the educational community -professionals, parents and learners- a centralised school mediation service (service de médiation scolaire). This service aims at preventing school dropout and ensuring learners' inclusion and integration in national education.
The mediator (médiateur au maintien, à l'inclusion et à l'intégration scolaires de l'Éducation nationale) provides support and follow-up in individual cases of disagreement with the school or educational department. Their recommendations are forwarded to the schools or services concerned, as well as to the minister of Education and to the National observatory on school quality.
Elementary school (pre-school and primary education)
The State and the municipalities share the duties and competences related to the implementation of pre-school and primary school education.
The municipalities have to provide the school facilities. Teachers are appointed and paid by the State and allocated to the municipalities.
The Ministry of Education organises the education provision for the primary schools. Its regional directorates include specialised teachers for school development (I-DS) who support and monitor the schools' development scheme (PDS; plan de de développement de l'établissement) and its implementation.
Secondary schools are managed under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE; ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse). Local authorities are not involved in the organisation of secondary education.
The ministry is responsible for educational laws (acts, regulations, administrative circulars) and for pedagogy and didactic matters (global objectives, curricula, assessment, timetables). The schools enjoy relative autonomy as to pedagogy, organisational and financial matters.
Several bodies are in charge of coordination among secondary schools and between the schools and their external partners. The 3 main bodies are:
- The national syllabus commissions (commissions nationales des programmes): there is a separate syllabus commission for each subject. Their principal role is to propose syllabi as well as text books, which are submitted to the ministry for approval. Each national syllabus commission brings together a representative of each secondary school in which the given subject is taught
- The colleges of principals (collège des directeurs): the cooperation among secondary schools is ensured by the colleges of lycées' principals. These bodies are composed of the principals and vice-principals of classical, respectively general secondary education ((ESC and ESG)
- The higher council of national education (conseil supérieur de l’Éducation nationale): the higher council of national Education is a consultative body at ministerial level. Its mission is to study general issues related to education and teaching; to give its opinion on questions raised by the Minister and to make suggestions, on its own initiative, related to reforms that would be indicated within the curricular and extracurricular contexts. The higher council of national Education is made up of representatives of the following stakeholders:
- Ministries: Education, Sports, Health, Family Affairs, Interior
- Colleges of principals, regional directorates
- Trade unions, parents’ associations, cultural and sports' school associations
- The economic world
- Private denominational schools.
Administration and management
Elementary school (pre-school and primary education)
The following bodies and actors are involved in the administration, management and governance of elementary schools:
15 directorates of elementary education
Pre-school and primary education inspectorate is structured into 15 directorates of elementary education. Each of these departments is managed by a team made up of one head and from 2 to 4 deputy heads. The directorates' missions include the management and pedagogical supervision of the schools, as well as the coordination of the schooling of pupils with special and/or specific needs.
The 15 directorates of elementary education are distributed throughout the country according to a distribution that takes into account the number of pupils, the number of teachers, schools, municipalities, the distances between schools, etc.
The school committee and its president (comité d’école; président du comité d’école): each school has a school committee, consisting of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 9 members, of which at least two thirds should be teachers. The members are elected by and among the personnel of the school.
The committee issues proposals on school organisation and budgets, sets up the school success plan and determines the need for continuing vocational training. The school committee is headed by a president, elected for a five-year period and nominated by the minister of Education. The president has to ensure that the school is managed properly and represents the privileged contact person for the municipality as well as the pupils’ parents and the agency for quality (Agence-Qualité) of the ministry of Education. However, the school president does not have any hierarchical authority over the school’s teaching staff: school teachers work under the authority of their regional directorate (direction de région). If no committee is elected, the municipality designates a person in charge of school matters.
The class teacher (titulaire): each class is led by a class teacher. Even if teachers do work as a team, each teacher in charge of a class is responsible towards his/her pupils.
The teaching team (équipe pédagogique): the teachers and educational personnel of the same classes of a cycle work as a teaching team. They meet on a weekly basis in order to discuss various pedagogical issues, teaching methods, progress and difficulties of the pupils.
The cycle coordinator (coordinateur de cycle): each cycle's teaching teams designates a cycle coordinator, whose role is to fix the meetings, set an agenda and lead the meetings. In compensation for these tasks, cycle coordinators benefit from a partial reduction of their teaching workload.
The principal (directeur): the principal is in charge of the proper functioning of the secondary school (lycée). S/he is the hierarchical superior of the school’s staff and coordinates the working relations as well as school development. In charge of pedagogy, he inspects the lessons and controls the implementation of the syllabus. S/he leads school projects and other activities of the school and monitors the educational activities, the surveillance and the safety of the pupils. As administrative head, the principal organises the teaching and ensures the school's administrative, technical and material management. S/he draws up the the draft budget for his/her school, represents the school community towards authorities and third parties. S/he also assesses the teaching provided and keeps the Minister informed.
The vice-principal (directeur adjoint): the vice-principal assists the Principal according to the duties that are delegated to him/her by the latter. S/he replaces the Principal in his/her absence.
Teachers attached to the management (attachés à la direction): teachers may assist in organising the teachings and implementing the school’s autonomy on a part-time or a full-time basis.
- The education council (conseil d’éducation): in each secondary school, there is an education council. It comprises the principal of the secondary school, four representatives of the teachers’ committee and two representatives of the pupils’ committee as well as two designated representatives of the pupils’ parents. The education council may also be attended by representatives of the local authorities, as well as people from the economic, social and cultural worlds. The secondary school Principal calls the Education Council to meet at least once every quarter. One of its main missions is to adopt the school charter as well as giving its agreement to the school’s autonomous activities. It emits its advice on the school’s draft budget and gives its agreement on the distribution of the final budget. It adopts the School Project (projet d’établissement) and draws up proposals on all matters concerning life at school and its organisation.
- The class council (conseil de classe): for each class, the staff meeting, comprising all the teachers concerned as well as the principal, discusses the implementation of teachings, deliberates on the pupils’ progress, their attitude towards work and disciplinary issues. It decides whether a pupil shall be promoted to the next class and expresses its opinion on its orientation. It decides on disciplinary matters. The members of the class council meet whenever needed to ensure efficient teaching and discipline in the class.
- The disciplinary council (conseil de discipline): in each secondary school, there is a disciplinary council. It is called upon to decide on the possible offences that are likely to lead to a definitive expulsion of the pupil.
The rectorate (rectorat) is the University's executive body.
Governance and support
The regional directorates (directions de région): the regional directorate is the hierarchical head of its district's teachers. It acts as a intermediary between the school and the ministry, and is expected to ensure that legislation and official directives are duly implemented. Their mission also includes providing pedagogical advice to teachers and parents of pupils facing difficulties. With regard to school development, the regianal its district the actions of the school presidents within its district and also participates in the implementation of school success plans.
The resource-teachers (instituteurs-ressources): the regional directorates include specialised teachers who provide support and advice to elementary schools. The resource-teacher is a teacher having acquired theoretical and practical knowledge in a given field of education.
The support team to pupils with special/specific education needs (ESEB; équipe de soutien des élèves à besoins éducatifs particuliers ou spécifiques): in each region a specialised team, consisting of specialists (psychologists, psychomotorists, social workers or educators) detects the needs and monitors the schooling of children with special educational needs.
The municipal school commission (commission scolaire communale): the partnership between school authorities, school staff and parents takes place in the Municipal School Commission. This body follows up the schools’ organisational implementation, as well as the school success plans, promotes initiatives for after schools supervision and expresses its opinion on the schools’ budgetary proposals. The Municipal School Commission is composed of the mayor, of representatives of the Municipal Council, of the schools staff and of parents.
The board of governors (conseil de gouvernance): the board of governors decides upon the University's general policies and strategies and controls the University’s activities. It is made up of 7 members, at least 4 of whom hold, or have held, a position of responsibility within a university. The University president, the government commissioner, a representative from the teaching body and a students' representative participate on equal terms with a consultative voice at meetings held by the board of governors.
The commission for inclusion (commission d'inclusion): in each of the 15 governing districts, there is an inclusion commission whose task it is to define, either at the request of the parents or at the request of the teacher or a representative structure in charge, the needs of pupils with difficulties in progress. The commissions elaborate individual specialised support schemes adapted to the pupils’ needs. The parents are free to agree to such support.
The school committee is made up of the inspector, a teacher, three members of the multi-professional team, and if needed, a doctor and social worker. A reference person is designated for each case; it is this person who then becomes the parents’ privileged contact person and follows up the pupil’s file.
The Parents’ representatives (représentants des parents): invited by the president of the school committee, and every time they request it, the pupils’ parents’ representatives meet the School Committee in order to:
- Discuss, and if necessary amend and/or complete the proposal for school organisation and the school success plan drawn up by the School Committee
- Organise joint meetings and events with the school partners
- Write down proposals relative to school organisation, in partnership with the the pupils.
The Teachers’ conference (conférence des professeurs): this body gathers the school teaching staff. It gives its opinion on all subjects submitted by the Minister or the principal. It deliberates on its own initiative on all important matters that concern teaching and education within the school.
The Teachers’ committee (comité des professeurs): every secondary school has a Teachers’ committee, which represents the teachers’ conference towards the management, the Minister, as well as the committees of pupils’ and parents. It submits to the Principal proposals on all matters relating to teaching within the school and life-long learning.
The Student committee (comité des élèves): each secondary school has a Student committee, which represents the pupils towards the school management and the other committees (teachers and the parents). It informs the pupils of their rights and duties within school, makes proposals on school life and the pupils’ tasks. Besides, it also organises cultural, social and sports activities. The pupils’ committee designates its representatives to the national pupils’ conference (CNEL; Conférence nationale des élèves du Luxembourg) and to the Education Council.
The Pupil parents’ committee (comité des parents d’élèves): each secondary school has its Pupil parents’ committee. It represents the pupils’ parents towards the management, the teachers’ and pupils’ committees and informs the parents on school-related issues. The Pupil parents’ committee may also organise social and cultural events and make suggestions about the pupils’ tasks and the organisation of teaching. It also delegates representatives to the Education council.