Tue. May 28th, 2024
New practical guide to non-contract private schools

This guide therefore becomes the new reference which summarizes the system for opening and controlling private establishments outside the contract. Circular no. 2018-096 of August 21, 2018,  which summarized the regulations resulting from the Gatel law, has been repealed.

Titiane Salleron, legal director of the Foundation for the school, takes stock of the essentials to remember:


The legislator has since the Gatel law of 2018 fixed the content of the declaration file for the opening of a private school.

It is well recalled that no additional document can be added to the list of those which appear in the education code.

Some rectorates, before declaring the file complete, have the unfortunate habit of asking upstream for additional documents and information from the project leader, thus unduly lengthening the processing times for the file.

This reminder is therefore important: at the filing stage, it is not a question of making an assessment of the documents in the file “but only of verifying whether all the documents which must constitute a file of declaration of opening have been provided by declaring it. (page 14) .

When all the information and documents expected are presented, the file must be declared complete. There follows a period of three months during which the rector, the mayor, the prefect and the public prosecutor will then examine the merits of the file and may, if necessary, oppose the opening of the establishment.

The opening declaration must systematically and immediately be the subject of a specific acknowledgment of receipt.

It is interesting to note that a declarant may possibly make certain modifications to his opening dossier during the investigation without necessarily having to submit a new dossier. This is at the discretion of the rector.


The guide provides important details on the starting point of the three-month period. These clarifications are on the whole favorable to the applicant (page 17).

In addition, a fifth ground for opposition (resulting from the aforementioned law confirming respect for the principles of the Republic) to the opening of a school is recorded: the prefect (and he alone)  “may oppose an opening in order to to prevent any form of foreign interference or to protect the fundamental interests of the Nation”. No explanation is provided on this new reason.

As a reminder, the four other grounds for opposition remain: the interest of public order or the protection of children and young people; if the person opening the establishment does not meet the conditions required by the texts; if the person who will run the establishment does not fulfill the conditions required by the texts; if it appears from the project of the establishment that it does not have the character of a school or, as the case may be, technical establishment.

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