driving lessons bazar

French driving schools have incomprehensible rates and the quality and price of lessons varies enormously.

They also fail to display their costs clearly leading to would-be learner drivers being pressurised to sign up once they have gone inside to ask about prices, according to a survey of nearly 500 driving schools by the consumer organisation Association nationale de défense des consommateurs et usagers (CLCV).

the birth diaries, Victoria Jelinek

‘I like children – fried.’ W.C. Fields

It may be difficult to get a place in the crèche for your child, but it’s even harder to find an assistante maternelle, literally translated as a mother’s assistant, or nanny.

The way the assistante maternelle system works is that she can take from one to three children between the ages of one and three into her home for childcare.

school sexism?

image from the Telegraph

Girls are chosen to look after the class if the teacher is briefly absent because they are 'more responsible'.

Boys get preferential treatment from teachers because they 'struggle more'.

Boys are marked in terms of cognitive ability whereas girls are marked on the basis of their positive attitude.

These are just a few of the conclusions in a report by l'inspection générale de l'éducation nationale which says that schools are still enforcing sexual stereotypes leading to inequality between the sexes in education.

the birth diaries, Victoria Jelinek

Abstainer: a weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. Ambrose Bierce

I thought it’d be too scary to be left alone with my baby boy when my husband went back to work in the mountains for the first time, so my best friend from London came over. Over the course of her visit, she’s encouraged me to be myself and to enjoy the baby, relax, and not to hover over him! 

Secular Charter in force

Spotted this charter yet? La chartre de la laïcité is, from this month, compulsory in all schools where it must be displayed prominently.
Education minister Vincent Peillon says that the poster, which  explains that the state and religion are separate entities, will instil "the values of the Republic” into the country’s students.
There are 15 statements on the poster, including, for example, the one that says that secularism ensures freedom of thought, and that people can believe or not believe, with individuals entitled to the free expression of their beliefs.

Education and religion were formally separated in France in 1905. Read more about the separation of church and state in France here.

Get a better look at the school charter here (scroll down)

2013 - 14 school dates

Click on this link for a downloadable calendar of holiday dates 2013-14:

Free maths coaching

Khan Academy maths has arrived in France with the launch this month of the free online video-based teaching system that has proved hugely successful in America where it is used both at home and in schools.

The French version, released in partnership with the Bibliothèque sans Frontiers open library and funded by Foundation Orange, offers 10-minute maths lessons whereby children can revise what they have learned in class.

This is great news in a country where parents spend over €2 billion a year on after school tutoring, more than most other European countries.