According to figures from the Ministry of National Education, out of 27,332 positions open in 2022 (23,571 in the public sector and 3,761 in the private sector under contract), only 19,838 have been filled in the public sector and 3,482 in the private sector.

In the first public degree, the rate of positions filled at the national level is 83.1%, against 94.7% last year. For colleges and high schools, it stands at 83.4% for the current session, against 94.1% last year, the ministry said in a statement.

“We have a problem recruiting teachers,” admitted Pap Ndiaye Thursday on France Inter.

“It’s an old problem, but one that has worsened in recent years,” he added, citing among the causes, “the shift in recruitment from master 1 to master 2” this year, while competitions recruitment of teachers, who could previously have passed from the first year of the master’s degree, have been reformed, resulting in a mechanical drop in candidates.

The minister also put forward a structural cause: remuneration, “which is objectively not up to what can be expected”. He recalled that the government had promised an increase in two parts, an “unconditional” part and another “which will be linked to new missions”.

For the first degree, the competitions (8,265 admitted for 9,951 positions in the public) reveal disparities as expected, with serious deficits in the Ile-de-France academies, and more particularly in those of Créteil and Versailles, where the difficulties are traditionally greater.

Thus only a little over 900 candidates were recruited out of 1,665 open positions in Créteil, and a little over 900 also for 1,600 positions in Versailles.

– “Return under high surveillance” –

In secondary education, behind the overall figure (11,353 admitted for 13,620 positions), strong differences also exist between the disciplines.

In some of them, all open positions are filled (in particular in history-geography, Spanish, SVT, physical education and sports).

But others remain under tension or are experiencing some this year, such as classics, where 57% of positions are filled, German (55% of positions filled compared to 70 to 81% during the three previous years), physics- chemistry (66.7% against 80 to 100%), mathematics (68.5% against 84 to 92%), or even modern letters (83.5%, against 98 to 100%), details the ministry.

Faced with this crisis, Pap Ndiaye however reaffirmed Thursday that “there will be a teacher in front of each class in all schools in France” at the start of the school year. “We are doing what it takes to,” he assured.

But the unions remain skeptical.

“This crisis is unprecedented. And contrary to what the minister may say, at the start of the school year, there will inevitably be classes which will not have teachers in front of them”, estimated with AFP Guislaine David, secretary general of the SNUipp-FSU, first primary school union.

“Going from 94% to 83% of positions filled between last year and this year is a huge drop,” she adds.

“It’s back to school under close surveillance. We can imagine that yes, there will be a teacher in front of each class on the day of the new school year because everyone will bend over backwards to make it work. But the following days and weeks ?” Asks Catherine Nave-Bekhti, general secretary of the Sgen-CFDT union.

To compensate for the lack of candidates, the ministry has for several weeks reinforced the recruitment of contract teachers for the start of the school year, with the organization of controversial “job-dating”, interviews organized in certain academies.

“I would like us to no longer have to recruit contract workers,” acknowledged Pap Ndiaye. But “it’s a situational response,” he continued. “We must respond structurally to this crisis of attractiveness of the teaching profession. It will take a little time”.