In France, your child can attend state schools (écoles publiques) or private schools (écoles privées).
School starts at the age of 2 or 3 and is compulsory until the age of 16.
Nursery Schools (maternelles) are for children from 2 to 5-6 years old.
Primary schools (écoles élémentaires) are for children from 6 to 11 years old.
Children study 5 courses, one each year. Subjects are French, Maths, History, Geography and Civic Studies, Science and Technology, PE, Arts and Crafts, Music and Foreign Languages.
Secondary schools (collège, lycée) are for children from 12 to 18 years old.
Children spend 4 years in collège, then they have the Brevet Exam before attending high school (lycée) that leads to the Baccalauréat qualification.
The students who do not go to high school, can attend a vocational school to pass a professional Baccalauréat.
Private schools are sometimes specialized in international or Catholic, American, British, French and bi-lingual studies.
Students attend school for only 160 days a year. They go to school 4 days a week with Wednesday free and no school on Saturdays, but some seconday schools have courses on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
Children in nursery schools attend school from 9 to 16.30
In primary schools they spend 26 hours a week at school
In junior high schools they start at 8.30 or 8.00 and finish at 16.00 or 17.00
Pupils do not wear school uniforms.
Parents have to pay for materials and provisions, but school books are free in primary and secondary schools.
Grants are available for low income families.
See Ministère de l’Education Nationale (French National Education) site: http://www.education.gouv.fr. You will find information about the school year, the holidays…