About us

Who we are ?

The Fondation pour l’école is a French registered charity dedicated to the improvement of school teaching in France. It was founded in 2007 and awarded the status of a “Fondation reconnue d’utilité publique” by the French government on March, 18th 2008. Our mission is to improve the current state of school education in France.

To this end our strategy is primarily to assist local communities (teachers, parents, towns, businesses) in the setting up of new privately funded schools in addition to the existing public or state funded schools. In 2017, 122 new schools have been created in France. About 74,000 pupils attend these independent schools in France. This represents 1305 schools, offering education to pupils of 5 to 18 years of age.

What do we do ?

The Foundation provides support exclusively to schools which operate as non-profit organisations and maintain the lowest possible school fees. The Foundation assists both established and new schools. The Schools may elect the curriculum of their choice (e.g. traditional French, Montessori), providing this conforms to the principles laid down by the Foundation (our “Charter of schools” and our “Charter for  minors protection“)

We believe that school choice is one of the most important parental rights. It is indeed fundamental to every democratic society. It is the reason why we are trying to raise awareness among the decision makers of the importance of giving this choice to all French children, not just those who can afford private education. We believe that State Intervention is necessary in order to set up a fair system of tax credits or, if need be, vouchers, to give all children in France access to such education. Each school should have the freedom to recruit staff (which is currently not the case in France), set its own curriculum and develop its own Ethos.

The Foundation has developed several others programs :

  • a Quality Label and a Quality Management Program, to assist schools to implement their own quality standards,
  • 3 Teachers Training schools :
  • ​a collaborative website of learning ressources dedicated to teachers la Plateforme du Professeur ,
  • a publishing house dedicated to scholar books (history, litterature….) : les éditions Critérion,
  • an online directory book of french independent schools : Ecoles-Libres.fr,
  • the Blog de la liberté scolaire, for the promotion of School Choice,
  • a Literacy Contest, open to all pupils (at age 9 and 12) to encourage literary excellence.

How to help us ?

If you live abroad, you can still support the Fondation pour l’école and its sheltered foundations :

  • via the Fonds Alcuin pour l’école (under the umbrella of the Fondation Roi Baudouin that we co-founded in Belgium) if your tax residence is in Europe,
  • via the American friends of French Foundation for Schools (under the umbrella of the King Baudouin Foundation United States) if your tax residence is in the USA. This foundation is referenced 501(c)(3) et 509(a)(1) at the USA tax code.

Your donations may entitle you to a tax credit in your country of residence. For any further information : [email protected]


Click on the picture to download our official brochure

Revival of school system

The Fondation pour l’école exists in order to bring about a revival of the school system in France. Our aim is that all French children may have access to a quality inclusive education throughout all sectors: state-run schools, state-aided schools, independent and specialist schools. We offer both financial and technical support to independent schools to enable them to provide the best possible education to children from all backgrounds.

We constantly lobby for universal school choice, so that all citizens may enjoy equal rights where education is concerned. All parents, regardless of income, should be able to send their child to the school of their choice. We view this choice as a fundamental human right which should be recognized and implemented by the State.

Within this framework we intend to develop pilot projects which can act as effective models for all schools. The introduction of autonomy will be seen to be crucial; it is to be hoped that the State will see the advantages of implementing more autonomy in Stat schools (such as the Charter schools in the USA). International experience has shown that in those countries where such a system has been implemented, public education has received beneficial stimulus.

Financial support

As a State registered charity, we select the school candidate for financial support on individual merit. Last year, we were in a position to grant financial aid to 108 schools, from pre-elementary to upper-secondary.

Quality insurance

In 2009, the Foundation instigated a new quality assessment tool which has been developed by a committee of representatives from the independent schools (comprising head teachers of varied school types, parents, teachers, consultant specialists). Almost 40 schools are currently testing it.

Some facts

1305 independent schools in France and more than 74,000 pupils in 2017.

108 schools assisted by our Foundation in 2016-2017.

More than 5,800,000 euros granted to independent schools

Since 2011 an average of 70 new schools have opened every year.

60 % of the French population would send their children to private school if they could receive financial assistance (IFOP poll, 2nd June 2010).