I mentioned last year at the rentrée that the Ministry of Education had changed the requirements for the CAFEP CAPES, previously open to non-EU citizens, unlike the CAPES, which was always only open to EU citizens.
It appears that decision was fairly rapidly reversed, as this article (in French, not a newspaper article) details. To sum up briefly in English:
To take the CAFEP CAPES these days most people sign up for a certain masters degree (the MEEF), which prepares you for the concours and gives you the masters degree necessary to become a teacher.
Some foreign (non-EU) students had already signed up for and started their masters programs when they learned, suddenly, at the time of CAFEP registration, that they were no longer eligible.
This article (also in French, again, not a newspaper article) tried to figure out why, without getting any real answers. The possibilities are, I guess, 1) the Ministry of Education wanted to bring the CAFEP requirements in line with the CAPES requirements, for no apparent reason; 2) the Catholic Schools organisation (l’Enseignement Catholique) wanted no longer anything to do with foreign teachers who needed pesky working papers every year, even though the EC never actually had to help them get those papers.
That second article brings up the point that, if working papers for these teachers were such a problem, why not simplify the process for them?
Anyway, the whole thing in my opinion sounds like bullshit, for lack of a more polite word. I have of course no access to the inner circles of decision-making at the Ministry of Education, but it sounds like they thought this was just a simple bug in the system, and that it wouldn’t actually affect anyone to change the rules, whereas it actually affects quite a number of people. At a time when new younger teachers are hard to come by and/or quitting in large numbers, it seems awfully short-sighted to have created such a rule.
As someone who actually is a non-EU citizen working in the Catholic system, here is my take on it: The Enseignement Catholique has never, ever given me any trouble about my working papers. They never cared one bit. The school I work at was only too happy to have an American, and we have a number of teachers of Moroccan origin. The Rectorat, on the other hand, after my first year, was a royal pain in the ass about it, and never even really tried to understand how getting working papers worked for me. They actually wrote to me my second year forbidding me from working with just my recepisse, and I had to send them bits of immigration law to convince them they were causing trouble for nothing. If the Rectorat had tried to understand the system, they would have realized much sooner that they had nothing to worry about, and absolutely nothing to do, since I take care of it all through J.
In any case, for now, the Ministry has gone back on this decision. Let’s hope it lasts. There is a real shortage of science, math, and—guess what else—English teachers right now in France.