French Education

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School lunches in France

Hi we are currently looking at moving to quite a rural area of SW France. Looking at the government's education site, it appears that only a few of the ecole elemaintaires in the area have school lunches - I'm going by those with a knife and fork logo, labelled restauration scolaire. Is this the case that not all schools provide school lunches? If that is so, what do the children do? Do they all go home for lunch?
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Re: School lunches in France

The school cantine depends on the willingness of the commune concerned to pay towards it and they usually have rules associated with it too*. They do not have to run one.

Prices can be expensive too, as I have recently seen on french news that some communes have put the prices up quite a lot.

*Also, not everyone is eligible to use this service. In my old commune, only working parents can use the service.......... ie no one available at lunch time to collect and feed the child concerned. For anyone else, this service can only be used under exceptional circumstances and agreed by the Mairie.

Never heard of packed lunches in France.

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Re: School lunches in France

One of the problems this way is that most of the smaller schools don't have facilities to prepare food that meet the current legislation requirements. It is just too expensive or not possible to upgrade the facilities so school lunch has to go.
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Re: School lunches in France

Thanks. So does that mean that the presence or absence of school lunches should be a consideration in choosing a school? I am at the beck and call of the primary school here in the UK because I am not working at the moment and hadn't envisaged having to bring the children home for 2 hours every lunchtime in France. In France my partner will be working - although sometimes from home - and I will be setting up in business as soon as I can - which is unlikely to be based at home.

Also, do you know whether you have to send your children to the nearest school or can you choose one further away? Some of the French village schools are tiny and, as well as no school lunches, it would not be a good idea for my children to be taught in the same class as the younger one really needs his own space, otherwise he is dominated by the older.
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Re: School lunches in France

Have a really hard think about moving to rural France with children. Have a really hard think about moving to rural France full stop as a family. Personally I don't recommend it. Certainly not for expats. If you do, you will spend your days driving kids around everywhere. Especially when they go to college. Also, kids are at home Wednesday afternoon.

Before anyone asks, I used to live rural with our kids. Never again. Remember, rural schools are rural and when kids grow up there is not an awful lot for them to do.

Idun, my kids have packed lunches but only on medical grounds. Otherwise I don't think it is allowed. God job because as stated earlier, canteen meals are very expensive.
ner ner nee ner ner!!
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Re: School lunches in France

The rural schools in the SW really have to provide a lunch, because it's too far to go home. Don't know the standard, or the cost. They have a lot of bread! I know that because one of my neighbours used to work in the canteen and brought me the leftovers for our hens.
There's transport from the out of the way places, that's from very early morning to late afternoon. Maybe you have to pay for that too?
I know a few families wih teenagers, in our very rural dept., and they board weekly. That's much cheaper here than in the UK.
Many of the tiny village schools have closed recently, for economic reasons, including the maternelle and primary in our village. Sad [:(] Which had its own kitchen and dining hall .

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Re: School lunches in France

ps Mountaindreams - re alternatives.
There are many "private" schools in rural areas, even maternelle and Primary, mostly church-run.
Neighbours sent their little ones there and had no complaints, though they had to provide their own transport. Meals provided.
The cost is minimal compared to similar in UK.

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Re: School lunches in France

Thanks - all helfpul info. I live in a little village in the UK and have chosen to send my young kids to a larger school in another village, so I drive them around anyway, as well as being a taxi driver to my older son when he lived at home, so I am used to all that.

I will also look into private schools as I haven't done any research on that yet.
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