Schooling in France
In France, school is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. However, children will normally start going to pre-school from the age of 3 (2 in some cases). The curriculum is defined at national level and is the same in all schools.
French schools calendar
The school year runs from beginning of September until beginning of July. Click here for detailed information about schools holidays in France.
All schools in France require that children have received the compulsory vaccinations. For details, you can ask the Head teacher of the school or any doctor or paediatrician. You can also enquire by contacting your local PMI (“Service de Protection Maternelle et Infantile”).
Children must also have school insurance. This school insurance is usually included in your comprehensive household insurance policy. This insurance is necessary when children take part in activities organized by the school, such as trips, etc. It will be requested at the beginning of the school year and you should ask your insurance company to provide you with a certificate of your child’s coverage.
Schooling in Grenoble area
Click here for the List of schools (nursery, primary, secondary) in the Grenoble district.
Pre-elementary schools (école maternelle)
For detailed information and to register your child, please contact your local town hall.
Primary schools (école élémentaire)
There are primary schools in each district of Grenoble and in most villages. See your local town hall.
Primary schools with international sections
In Grenoble, four primary schools have international sections (Ecole primaire à section Internationale):
- Ecole Houille Blanche: has English and German sections for children aged from 6 to 11
- Ecole Bizanet: has a Spanish section
- Ecole Jean Jaurès: has an Italian section
- Ecole Joseph Vallier: has Portuguese and Arabic sections.
To register in either one of these schools, it is advisable to arrange a meeting with the Headmaster.
Secondary education in France is divided into two cycles: the first four years at a collège and the last three years at a lycée.Collèges provide general education, which is identical for all pupils, except foreign languages.
There are different types of lycées: some lycées provide general and/or technical education, preparing pupils for the baccalauréat, which is necessary to carry on to higher education ; other lycées provide a shorter and professional/practical education, leading to CAP (certificat d’aptitude professionnelle) or BEP (brevet d’enseignement professionnel).
In order to find out the collège or lycée in which your child may be registered, contact the “Inspection Académique”.
Secondary schools with international sections: Cité Scolaire Interantionale (CSI)
- The Cité Scolaire Internationale Europole is part of the new international school complex (Cité Scolaire Internationale or CSI) located in the Europole business district of Grenoble. The college and lycée are attended by pupils from the sixième class through to terminale, with classes divided into six International Sections: English, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. For more details, please see the Cité Scolaire Internationale web site.
- The American School of Grenoble : the CSI complex also holds the American School of Grenoble (college and lycée) which is designed for pupils who wish to receive an American education, such as American children who will return to the United States once their parents’ contract in Grenoble is finished. For more information, please see the American School of Grenoble website.
Higher education in Grenoble
There are multiple higher education institutions in Grenoble: universities, business or engineering schools…
For information concerning higher education, visit the Grenoble regional education authority web site, Académie de Grenoble, for information about universities. Alternatively, follow the link to the French Ministry of Education website to find out about “Grandes Ecoles”.
Local education authority
Whom to contact in the Isère
Inspection Académique Division des Élèves
Cité Administrative Rue Joseph Chanrion
The local education authority has appointed somebody to be the contact for non-French parents who wish to have information regarding schooling in France: Mme BROUILLAC – Room 204 – 2nd floor – Tel: 04 76 74 79 48 (Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 12.00 pm and from 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm).
Different options are possible depending on whether you need child-minding regularly or occasionally, part time or full time, and whether you prefer a crèche or a public facility or a nurse/childminder, at her home or at your home.
You will find general information on available options here.
- Halte-Garderie (occasional and part time child-minding) – Crèches (regular child-minding). Children can be looked after in such institutions between the age of 3 months to 3 years and the cost per hour varies according to the parents’ income. For more information, contact the nearest town hall (mairie) or the Caisse d’Allocations Familiales.
- Assistantes maternelles are certified childminder who look after one or more children in their own home and are employed directly by the parents. They can look after children aged from 2,5 months old. For more information (list of Assistantes Maternelles in your area, cost, contract, financial help, etc.), contact your local town hall or the Relais Assistantes Maternelles near you.
- Baby-sitting. If you need a baby sitter, you can consult the ads in the local newspapers/newsletters or in the shops near you or contact the CROUS – Centre Régional des Oeuvres Universitaires et Scolaires (offers jobs for students).
- Child minding in France on Wednesdays (no school) : in France, schools are closed on Wednesdays. If you need your children to be looked after on that day, several ‘centres de loisirs’ (day camp/leisure centres) welcome children aged from 3 to 14 for the day or half the day and offer a large selection of indoor and outdoor activities for each age group. For more information, contact the chosen centre de loisirs directly.
In France, family allowances are managed by an institution called the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales).
You may be entitled to family allowance depending on your family situation (usually the number of children in the family) and, for most allowances, also on your taxable income.
Remember that payment of allowances is related to your overall financial situation, applications will therefore require a certain number of documents proving eligibility.
For further information, please contact the CAF de Grenoble or your employer.
CAF de Grenoble
3, rue des Alliés
38051 GRENOBLE Cedex 9
Tel: 0 820 25 38 10