Teacher training : the French system (3/3)

The IUFM : a unique place for the training of all education professionnals

Primary education

  • CRPE : State recruitment exam for teaching in primary education

Secondary education

  • CAPES : State recruitment exam for teaching a mainstream subject in secondary education
  • CAPET : State recruitment exam for teaching a technical subject in secondary education
  • CAPEPS : State recruitment exam for teaching physical education and sports in secondary education
  • CAPLP : State recruitment exam for teaching in vocational upper secondary education
  • CPE : State recruitment exam for pastoral education counsellors
  • CAFEP : State recruitment exam for teaching in private secondary education



Pastoral education counsellors, primary school teachers, and secondary school teachers* :

  • are recruited with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • belong to the same pay scale system
  • have identical opportunities for career development

All are trained in an IUFM. The teacher training institutes propose courses specific to each level of teaching and subject that include common components and prepare prospective teachers and counsellors for their future careers.


* Some secondary school teachers, having validated the first year of a master’s degree can choose to take a competitive exam called «agrégation». Successfull candidates will benefit from a different pay scale and career development opportunities.


Careers in education in France


The school system in France

In secondary education

(high school ; main stream and technical college ; vocational college)

  • Secondary subject teachers
    usually teach one subject.
    They are employed in high schools ; and mainstream and technical colleges.
  • Vocational subject teachers
    teach their specialist subjects.
    They are employed in vocational colleges.
  • Pastoral education counsellors,
    have a counselling and administrative role
    They are in charge of students’ attendance and liaise with parents and the authorities.
    They are employed in high schools and colleges..

In primary education

(nursery and primary school)

  • Primary school teachers
    are employed either in nursery schools or primary schools.




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