Secondary education

Secondary education, depending on the type chosen, lasts either six or seven years. There are two types of secondary education:

  • general secondary education preparing pupils above all for higher studies;
  • technical secondary education, directed mainly towards working life.

The final stage of secondary education is the internationally recognised baccalaureate examination or a certificate of aptitude of a more vocational nature.

The "National school for adults" (École nationale pour adultes) exists for young people between the ages of 16 and 30 who have dropped out of school.

Progression from primary education to secondary education

At the end of the sixth year of fundamental school, pupils progress from primary education to post-primary education and are guided towards one of the two types of secondary education: General secondary education or technical secondary education.

Secondary education

General secondary education provides general training. The aim is to pass on general knowledge in the fields of human sciences and literature as well as in mathematics and natural sciences.

This type of education prepares above all for higher and university studies; a secondary school leaving diploma (diplôme de fin d'études secondaires) is awarded on completion.

Technical secondary education

Technical secondary education is basically a preparation for working life. It also enables access to higher education.

There are three different types of technical secondary education:

  • technical education, at the end of which a technical secondary school leaving diploma (diplôme de fin d'études techniques) is awarded;
  • technician's training, leading to the technician's diploma (diplôme de technicien, DT);
  • vocational education, at the end of which a certificate of professional competence (certificat de capacité professionnelle, CCP) or a certificate of vocational aptitude (diplôme d'aptitude professionnelle, DAP) is awarded. These certificates replace the technical and vocational aptitude certificate (certificat d’aptitude technique et professionnelle, CATP).

There is also a 'preparatory scheme', which is a separate route for pupils whose performance at fundamental school is deemed inadequate.

National school for adults (École nationale pour adultes)

The "École nationale pour adultes", based on an innovative educational concept, is an integral part of the public school system.

The school is open to any young person between the ages of 16 and 30 years who, as a result of failure or making poor choices regarding educational guidance, has dropped out of school or been unable to find a place as an apprentice. The "École nationale pour adultes" does not use the same teaching methods as ordinary secondary schools; it pays particular attention to supervision and personal tutoring.

  • Updated 30-07-2018