What is the role of the “Vie scolaire” team

Every morning, students in collègelycée are welcomed by educational assistants. Their team is led by the principal educational advisor (conseillère principale d’éducation, CPE). The school life team is an integral part of a French secondary school. Those unfamiliar with French education may ask: what is school life? What are the functions of the CPE?

Clémence Baulet, Principal Education Advisor and Deputy Principal of LIFV explains. 

Clémence Baulet

What is the role of “school life” at the French International Lyceum of Vilnius?

School life is everything that happens in the school outside of class hours. The school life team is responsible for the supervision of students when they are not in class with the teachers. The educational assistants supervise the playground, the lunch break, the corridors and the foyer. They also take care of the detention period. 

The school life is in charge of collecting and following up absences and late arrivals: they must be justified by the parents (written justification). There is also the management of punishments (e.g. detentions). Each detention is accompanied by educational work. The education assistants supervise the pupils, but the task is given by the teacher or the adult who requested the detention. The taskgiven must always be related to the reason for the detention. 

Education assistants teach students to respect the rules of daily life so that everyone feels safe and comfortable in our community. School life is not only there to set a framework and discipline. The school is a place of socialization, which is why the educational assistants also play basketball, table football, chess, etc.  with the students. 

What is the role of the CPE?

I am not only in charge of the supervision and the rules. The main mission of the CPE is to provide the best conditions for individual and collective life, academic success and personal development. Pupils can come to my office if they need to talk, have questions, personal or school-related problems etc.

I also work closely with the pedagogical team on all projects and outings. We develop projects related to citizenship, living together in order to develop a sense of belonging to the school. The CPE works a lot with the nurse and the psychologist for the follow-up of the pupils and to work on health-related themes. 

With the nurse we have planned a project on living together with the classes of CM1 – CM2 – 6ème-5ème. It is a work on the acceptance of the others, on the acceptance of the differences; on how to behave in a class by respecting all the pupils and the teachers. 

How are absences managed at LIFV?

I think the French system is one of the strictest in terms of absenteeism. Whenever a student is late for class, we send a message directly to the parents through “Pronote”. If the pupil is absent in the morning, the educational assistants contact the parents to obtain a written justification of absence. Even the parents of the pupils at the lycée, who are sometimes of age, are informed if their child is absent. So they can’t walk around the old town during school hours without being noticed 🙂

Lithuanians are often surprised that children are never left alone at school…

According to French law, we are not allowed to leave a student alone without supervision (except in high school). An adult must always be present. From the moment the students enter the school at 7.30am until the moment they leave at 4pm, they are under our responsibility.

The students in the high school classes have more freedom. They can leave whenever they want, it is their own responsibility. However, their parents are always notified if they are late. 

Thank you for the interview.