in Clermont-Ferrand, the anger of the forgotten priority education

The priority education map has its white areas. One of them is in the north of Clermont-Ferrand, nestled between the gray concrete of the old ramps of test Michelin, emblematic industry of the city, the charming cobbled streets of the old town of Montferrand, and the bars of buildings of the political district of the city of Gauthière.

This is where around 450 teenagers cross the gates of the Gérard-Philippe college every day. Three-quarters of them come from underprivileged families, 60% are on scholarships – for a family with two children, aid is granted when annual resources do not exceed 19,632 euros. Some, refugees or newcomers, do not speak French and are among the allophone students welcomed into the establishment. Others have a disability and are educated as part of the inclusion systems implemented in the college. “We concentrate difficulties of all kinds”summarizes Sandrine Charrier, professor of musical education at Gérard-Philipe for twenty years and representative of the SNES-FSU.

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For several years, the teachers have been mobilizing and have covered the gates of the establishment several times with banners to demand what the college does not have the right to, for the time being: entry into priority education and access to related resources. The publication in mid-October of social position indices (IPS) for schools and colleges only reinforced this claim. The Gérard-Philipe college is barely above 70, the lowest of the indices of French colleges not classified in priority education and, above all, one of the 10% lowest in the country.

A handful of executive children

The origin of this anomaly dates back to the last definition of the priority education map, in 2014. “We had a REP profile, but the rector at the time decided not to include us in priority education, because two other colleges in Clermont-Nord were already classified REP +”explains Sandrine Charrier.

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A reason that the academic director of Puy-de-Dôme, Michel Rouquette, does not confirm. He admits, however, that his services had then made the bet to succeed in attracting and retaining a diversity of profiles in the college to gain in diversity. A study published in 2017 shows that the population of the Gérard-Philipe sector was indeed more mixed than that of the two other establishments in the northern districts.

The failure is obvious. “The situation has only deteriorated, to such an extent that we no longer have the REP profile, but REP +”poursuit Mme Spoof. The IPS of the Gérard-Philipe college continues to drop and has become lower than those of almost all the REP + colleges in the city. The fact that the establishment offers a cinema course, a theater workshop, a football section has not changed anything: there are only a handful of executive children. Due to the impoverishment of the surrounding population but also to an avoidance towards the private sector, which also offers many options. The two closest private establishments, one of which is located 50 meters away, have SPIs more than thirty points higher.

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