1 December 2023

When he shows the Claude-Debussy college, on the outskirts of Angers, its principal, Eric Gauthier, is proud to show his new courtyard with benches that absorb noise, shrubs that provide shade and partition the spaces. or the frog pond which took place in front of the main entrance. Green courtyard, orchestra class, English-Chinese section… Eric Gauthier uses all the strings of his principal’s bow to make his college, which today has 430 students, attractive.

In the “competitive sphere” represented by education in Angers, it has even come to the point of organizing open days for parents of CM1 pupils. A “Shallot Race” to which he feels compelled. According to his estimates, ” almost half “ CM2 students in the area never cross the doors of his establishment. Most go to nearby private colleges. Historical tradition obliges, Maine-et-Loire has a large number of private colleges under contract, almost exclusively Catholic, which educate nearly half of the students.

So, at a time when establishment reputations are unraveling much faster than they are being built, “the main challenge remains to secure the parents”assures this head of an establishment which has long had the image of a “college of brawlers” and who still pays for it today. The opening of the Saint-Aubin college, a stone’s throw away, nearly ten years ago, was a blow. “Our workforce has shrunk from one year to the next, with, in addition to a negative effect on social diversity, harmful consequences on gender diversity: the boys remained in the public sector when the girls went to the private sector”recounts the principal, who restores the balance year after year.

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Frédéric Moureaux, the director of Saint-Aubin, located in the town of Verrières-en-Anjou “fifty meters from the Angers sign”confirms these “avoidance strategies” for the benefit of its college of nearly 500 students, which opened a fourth class of 6e Four years ago. Today, 60% of its 6-year-old studentse come from nearby public schools and ” little ” highlight the Catholic project of the establishment during registration.

“Parents are very consumerist”

The social position indices (IPS) – this indicator designed by the Ministry of National Education to measure the social profile of an establishment – ​​are affected by this. Yet located one kilometer from each other, Claude-Debussy displays 90 when Saint-Aubin is at 112.

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