Uniform at school: The difficult start of the experiment

Will the school uniform experiment result in a non-event? Immediately after his appointment to Rue de Grenelle in the summer of 2023, Gabriel Attal declared that he was in favor of it – an idea strongly advocated by Emmanuel Macron. The call for proposals was launched in autumn 2023, with the short-lived Minister of Education welcoming the many communities that had already applied. Emmanuel Macron finally revealed: in a tweet In mid-January, a map of the hundred schools, colleges and secondary schools that would play the “unique outfit” desired by the government. The president even announced a generalization of the experiment from the start of the 2026 school year if it proves conclusive.

Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis), Puteaux (Hauts-de-Seine), Neuilly-sur-Marne (Seine-Saint-Denis), Béziers (Hérault), Nice, the departments of Bouches-du-Rhône, Alpes-Maritimes, Allier, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region… Across the territory, communities – mainly marked on the right – have volunteered to test the uniform at the start of the 2024 school year. The process is 50% financed by the municipality. The rest is the responsibility of the State, with the cost announced by National Education being around 200 euros per bundle. Each municipality is responsible for defining its uniform, “in dialogue” with the local educational community.

According to our information, two municipalities have even brought forward the date: Béziers, which was supposed to communicate on the issue after returning from the winter holidays, and Puteaux, which could est the uniform after the spring holidays. But the national education system is struggling to stabilize the map of other participating institutions. The number of 89 schools, colleges and high schools has been circulating without being confirmed, and for good reason: the candidate communities sometimes encountered strong resistance from families and teachers.

Difficult step

In fact, the wearing of the uniform in schools cannot occur without a change in the internal regulations, which in turn are subject to the vote of the teachers’ council (in kindergarten), the school (in elementary school) or the administration (in middle and high schools). The projects therefore failed when tested in practice. On February 15, the day the call was due to close, National Education announced that the deadline for applications had been extended to mid-June.

In Seine-Saint-Denis, the National Federation of Parents’ Councils of Secular Schools of 93 (FCPE) fears that this step will be difficult. “Not only do we believe that the generalization of the uniform will not take place, but we also doubt the implementation of the experiment in the department.”says Isabelle Lacroix, Co-President of FCPE 93.

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