Unlike the two previous back-to-school periods, teachers and students will not wear masks, due to the lull on the Covid-19 front. Two years ago, middle and high school students had to put it on, last year it was the case for all students from CP.

The protocol applicable to the start of the school year will this time be at the “base” level, the lowest of the new health framework.

It provides, in addition to the absence of a mask, that the students are welcomed face-to-face, without restriction for physical activities and without limitation of mixing between them.

But the start of the 2022 school year will take place under tension due to a crisis in the recruitment of teachers – a phenomenon which is not new but which has worsened further this year – with more than 4,000 vacancies not filled in competitions in the country, out of 27,300 open positions in the public and private sectors (and 850,000 teachers in total).

“We have recruitment difficulties which are linked to the loss of attractiveness” but “we are doing the best, in conditions which are not optimal”, Minister Pap Ndiaye said on Tuesday on RTL, affirming that “the income is will do under very suitable conditions”.

To overcome this shortage, the National Education has recruited contract teachers – 3,000 according to Pap Ndiaye – trained in a few days before finding themselves facing a class.

On the issue of teachers’ salaries, which are below the OECD average and a lever for recruiting more, the Minister specified on Tuesday that “it is clear that a beginner cannot earn more than a teacher who has ten years of experience”. “So you also have to touch on the mid-career so that there is an attractive upgrading,” he continued.

– “Unprecedented tension” –

He acknowledged that this return, his first as minister, would take place in “a context of unprecedented tension for the recruitment of teachers”, but wanted to be reassuring, promising on several occasions that there would be “a teacher in front of every class in every school in France”.

The unions, they are sounding the alarm.

“The promise of a teacher in front of each student seems more like a political slogan than reality,” said Sophie Vénétitay, general secretary of Snes-FSU, the first secondary union, on Monday.

“The difficulty is that we have a glaring lack of teachers, and a glaring lack of replacements,” added Guislaine David, general secretary of SNUipp-FSU, the first primary union. The SE-Unsa union, for its part, warned of the “fragility” of the education system, already tested by the health crisis and successive reforms.

– Canteen and supplies –

Animators and school bus drivers could also be in short supply because these professions are also affected by a shortage of personnel.

Minister Delegate for Transport Clément Beaune stressed last week that there were “still risks” that school transport could not be fully ensured, even if the problem should be “of limited magnitude”.

For families, the start of the new school year will also be under the sign of inflation, which does not spare the school.

In its 38th annual survey on the cost of going back to sixth grade, the national federation Families of France noted a “sharp increase of 4.25% in the cost of school supplies”.

The rise in food and energy prices should also have an impact on the cost of meals in canteens, which will weigh on the budgets of local authorities or parents of students.

The Ministry of Education is “committed to increased support for families in difficulty so that students can follow their education in good conditions”, in particular via the possible increase of 50% in social funds from this start of the school year, indicated Pap Ndiaye.

Communities have opted for the distribution of free supply kits, like Aubervilliers and Bobigny in Seine-Saint-Denis for elementary schools, or the Bouches-du-Rhône department for colleges.