Policy Document

Decree on the education cycles in primary and lower secondary schools








Compulsory Schooling

Main implications

Schooling from kindergarten to the end of college is organised in four successive learning cycles: The first cycle, called the initial learning cycle, consists of three levels of kindergarten: the small section, middle section, and large section; the second cycle, called the basic learning cycle, consists of the first three years of primary school, referred to as: preparatory class, elementary class first year, and elementary class second year; the third cycle, called the consolidation cycle, corresponds to two years of elementary school after the basic learning cycle and to the first year of college, and are called: the intermediate class first year, intermediate class second year, and sixth class; the fourth cycle, the deep learning cycle, corresponds to the last three years of college: the fifth, fourth, and third classes.

Benefits & Requirements

Coverage: Eligible groups or beneficiaries

Primary and lower secondary schools

Is educational tracking implemented or modified by this document?


Read the Law

Full Text Source in English

Decree No. 2013-682 of 24 July 2013 on the education cycles in primary and lower secondary schools, Official Journal of the French Republic no. 174 of 28th July, 2013 p. 12655

Original full text source in native language

Décret n° 2013-682 du 24 juillet 2013 relatif aux cycles d'enseignement à l'école primaire et au collège, Journal Officiel de la République Française n°174 du 28 juillet 2013 p. 12655

Original full text web source in native language


Secondary Literature & Sources

Secondary literature

- Heurdier L., & Prost A. "Les politiques de l’éducation en France". La Documentation française, Paris (2014).
- Ministère de l'Éducation Nationale, de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche. "La réforme des rythmes à l'école primaire" (2013). Available at: http://www.education.gouv.fr/cid2503/les-rythmes-scolaires.html
- Direction de l’information légale et administrative. "Organisation de l'enseignement du premier degré" (2014). Available at: http://www.vie-publique.fr/politiques-publiques/enseignement-primaire/organisation/

Links to databases and sources for the analysis or evaluation of this policy field

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) http://www.uis.unesco.org
Education at a Glance, © OECD, 2014 (http://stats.oecd.org/)
Eurostat, © European Union, 1995-2014
INSEE publications: http://www.insee.fr/fr/themes/theme.asp


Arianna Caporali
Institut national d'études démographiques (INED)

Data collected in the framework of the Population Europe Research Finder and Archive (PERFAR)

Cite as

SPLASH-db.eu (2014): Policy: "Decree on the education cycles in primary and lower secondary schools" (Information provided by Arianna Caporali). Available at: https://splash-db.eu [Date of access].