Homeschooling in France – What Law Says

As of September 2023, homeschooling is not legal in France. This came into effect after the 2022 law where the French government opted for a ban on homeschooling. The main intention is to curb the spread of radical Islamism. However, changes have had far-reaching implications for homeschooling families in France, altering the landscape of educational freedom and parental rights. 

Key Takeaways

  • Starting in 2022, homeschooling has been made illegal in France
  • This is primarily mandated to tackle the rise in Islamism
  • Homeschooling can be applied to students with health concerns or if there is an instance of excessive traveling within the country
Homeschooling in France

What Law Says about Homeschooling in France?

Homeschooling in France is now less accessible and subject to highly intrusive and restrictive rules, as ruled by the French Constitutional Council.

Homeschooling in France is restricted by a new law that imposes unreasonable restrictions on French citizens’ rights of conscience, human rights, and freedoms. 

The petition called on the council to strike down the law, but sadly the council swept aside these concerns, ruling that the National Assembly had the authority to impose such restrictions on the practice of homeschooling in France.

The French government passed a law in 2021 severely restricting homeschooling to enforce secular values.

The new law requires homeschooling parents to request permission from the local authorities every year and undergo an annual evaluation by a state-approved.

President Macron wants to ban homeschooling in France unless there is a medical reason. Parents are fighting back, arguing that it’s an essential freedom. President further included that homeschooling may be the source of religious extremism.

The government says the new rules are necessary to stop the “spread of radicalization” and ensure that all children have access to a “secular, republican education”.

When is Homeschooling Legal?

In some cases, homeschooling is legal in France. These are applicable only if 

  • The student has health issues or is suffering from a disability
  • Part of a family that frequently travels throughout France
  • The distance from the school is excessive
  • The child is a prodigy in artistic or athletic pursuits which requires regular participation or training

If the student meets these criteria, only then homeschooling will be considered legal in France. Otherwise, it is mandatory for the student to attend a public or private school. Once again, the purpose is to reduce the influx of extremism and promote more secularism. 

However, if there is any other exceptional reason for homeschooling then the following must be done. 

  • Parents must request permission from the Academic Director of National Education Services (DASEN) to homeschool
  • Reasons for authorization are limited, and various documents must be submitted, including a written presentation of the educational project, proof of identity, and qualification of the instructor
  • Distance learning courses be primarily conducted in the French language, emphasizing the preservation of French culture and values

Apart from this, it must be kept in mind that the homeschooling facility will be subjected to an initial investigation conducted by the mayor followed by periodic checks every two years until the child reaches 16. Along with that, academic inspections will also occur at least once a year to assess the child’s education and progress in the Common Pillar Requirements.

Keep in mind that, failure to comply with homeschooling regulations may result in fines, imprisonment, or other legal consequences. 

Families seeking financial support must provide authorization for homeschooling to the Family Allowance Fund (CAF) to benefit from family allowances, with aid varying depending on registration in regulated CNED classes or not.

So make sure that the student meets the exact criteria and if they do, then comply with the French homeschooling laws. 

Also Read: Habits of highly successful homeschoolers

Laws for Homeschoolers in France

Critics say the law is a violation of parents’ right to freedom of education and could lead to the marginalization of children who are not part of the mainstream educational system.

Homeschooling in France has been illegal since the 19th century when Napoleon Bonaparte mandated state-run education. Homeschooling families have been fined, and their children have been taken away from them and placed in state schools.

In recent years, the homeschooling movement has been growing in France, with an estimated 60,000 children being homeschooled in 2020.

The new law passed by the French government will make it even more difficult for families to homeschool their children. Parents who wish to homeschool their children will now have to request permission from the local authorities every year and undergo an annual evaluation by a state-approved evaluator.

Homeschooling in France

About the French education system

The French education system is compulsory for all children aged six to 16. Children must attend a state-run school unless they are homeschooled or attend a private school.

The French education system is highly centralized, with the national government responsible for setting the curriculum and standards that all schools must follow.

There are three main types of schools in France: public schools, private schools, and charter schools.

Public schools are free to attend and are funded by the government. Private schools are not free to attend and are usually run by religious organizations. Charter schools are publicly funded but have more autonomy than public schools when it comes to curriculum and teaching methods.

Approximately 95% of French children attend public schools, while 5% attend private or charter schools.

Homeschooling is a relatively new phenomenon in France and is not well-regulated.

But back then there were two main types of homeschooling in France:

Autonomous Homeschooling: This is when parents take full responsibility for their child’s education and do not have to notify the government of their decision to homeschool.

Homeschooling under Agreement: This is when parents notify the local school board of their decision to homeschool and submit an agreement detailing their educational plan for their child.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Are French Children Living Abroad Affected by Homeschooling Laws?

French children living abroad are not affected by the homeschooling laws in France. The laws apply only to children residing in France, regardless of their nationality. If French citizens living abroad choose to homeschool their children, they must follow the laws of the country where they live

What is the Role of the Family Allowance Fund (CAF) in Homeschooling?

The Family Allowance Fund (CAF) plays a role in homeschooling in France. French parents who wish to homeschool their children must submit the authorization for instruction in the family to the CAF in order to receive family allowances. Family allowances are paid by the CAF to employees and comparable categories in France who have one or more dependent children under the age of 20. 

Who is the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education Related to Homeschooling in France?

Ms. Farida Shaheed, a Pakistani elected to the position in 2022, is the Special Rapporteur. The Rapporteur will present a report to the Human Rights Council in June 2023 based on the contributions received.


Homeschooling is not legal in France. This has been issued since 2022 in order to stop the rise of extremism in France and promote liberal and secular French values. However, exceptions to this apply all the time. In case you want to go for homeschooling for your children, make sure to comply with the regulations to ensure that your children get the best education.

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