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Living in the Languedoc:    Education:    Repeating Years and Moving up Years

Particularly bright children are able to skip a year, and particularly slow ones may have to repeat a year.
Decisions about pupils repeating years, moving to a higher class, or changing course are taken through a procedure involving a dialogue between the school (teachers, administrative and ancillary staff) and the families and pupils. Teachers give their opinions in what is known as a "class council", formed of representatives of pupils, teachers and parents, parents can appeal against a decision and demand, depending on the pupil's level, that the pupil move up rather than repeat the year, or repeat the year rather than do a course they do not wish their son or daughter to pursue.
In every school, there are specialist counsellors to help pupils, parents and teachers resolve any problems they encounter. Networks of specialist help for pupils with learning difficulties (RASED) cater for those at greatest risk.
To help the most disadvantaged children, France has opted for the development within its education system of a policy of positive discrimination. This takes the form of allocating additional funds to schools in so-called "priority education areas" (ZEPs) where a disadvantaged social and cultural environment makes educating the pupils especially difficult - 18% of all primary-school children and 21% of collège pupils attend schools in ZEPs.
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