Teachers' absences: recruitment of 3,300 contract workers

Faced with the discontent of professors and absences which are multiplying among the teaching staff, Jean-Michel Blanquer announced on January 13 the recruitment of 3,300 contract workers and the use of additional lists.

This January 13, after meeting the unions at the end of a great day of mobilization of teachers against the measures deemed insufficient at school, Jean Michel Blanquer announced the recruitment of 3,300 more contract workersto compensate for teacher absences. The Minister of National Education also announced the use of additional lists, that is to say to the candidates who obtained the competition but who were not recruited. “We will also recruit what are called educational assistants [AED] and educational support staff for school directors“, added Jean-Michel Blanquer.

What measures to replace absent teachers?

In a January 3 press release, the Ministry of National Education issued new recommendations for education staff. The ministry recalls that teachers are subjected to the same tests as other adults in schools and educational establishments, with consecutive tests, without the need to isolate themselves for vaccinated contact cases whose tests are negative. In addition, and following the report of the Court of Auditors, the government decided to postpone or suspend “all institutional requests likely to result in the absence of professors (training, etc.) “. The government also has expand the capacity to recruit contract workers and individual contractors, and this in all the academies of the 1st and 2nd degree. Since January 3, retirees from National Education have been recalled with adapted remuneration conditions. “The academies are diversifying their recruitment methods and are mobilized to initiate recruitments on the basis of reported absences, in order to respond quickly.“, specifies the ministry. school principals and school principals, their tasks are lightened so as to allow them to concentrate more on the management of the health crisis as well as on the pedagogical continuity for the pupils who would follow the distance courses.

Absence of teachers: the report of the Court of Auditors

On December 2, the Court of Auditors published a report entitled “Management of teacher absences”. She reveals that two thirds of teachers’ absences from college and high school are linked to service obligations. This report follows the visit of around forty schools by financial magistrates over the year 2018-2019, i.e. before the health crisis. It therefore calls for more systematic replacements between colleagues during these absences to offer better pedagogical continuity to the students. Thereby, two out of three times, if the teacher is absent, it is not because he is sick, but because he is in training, that he must attend an educational meeting, be a member of an examination jury, or even because his establishment is closed to host the baccalaureate or patent exams. Although physically absent, the teacher therefore works nonetheless. We then speak ofinstitutional absences “ because linked to the obligations of National Education.

Colleges and high schools: 2.5 million hours lost and nearly 4 billion euros

According to the findings of the Court of Auditors, approximately 10% of course hours delivered in middle and high school were lost during the 2018-2019 school year. Absences considered to be of short duration (less than 15 days) which nevertheless represent 2.5 million hours. This equates to an increase of 24% from the previous year. Budget side, these absences represent no less than 4 billion euros.

Replacements: how to compensate for the absence of teachers?

Faced with this observation and even though the absences of students and teachers have increased over the past two years due to the health crisis, the Court of Auditors asks the Ministry of National Education to to propose “a real strategy” for “limiter” and “compensate for short absences. The suggestion of the magistrates? Rather than recruiting replacement teachers, allow school heads to encourage more replacements between colleagues within the same college or high school by offering them overtime. And for good reason, as the Court of Auditors explains “the head of the establishment is still also deprived of the means to find replacements apart from the volunteers”. This could therefore induce an obligation for the teacher to accept these replacements if necessary. Likewise, she stresses that the organization of exams such as educational meetings could be planned so as not to take place systematically during class time. Finally, in case of absence, professors could be invited to videotape their lesson so that it is disseminated to students.

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