CAFEP CAPES rouvert aux étrangers non-communautaires

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.


9 thoughts on “CAFEP CAPES rouvert aux étrangers non-communautaires

    • Just a thing that I don’t think they thought of until now. In the M2 year (if you pass the exam), you are a prof stagiaire with a full time salary… something that is not allowed on a student visa. I currently have a friend who is having to jump through hoops to *hopefully* change her visa status so she can finish the year and get paid.

      I wonder if this will cause them to change the requirements for the exam?

      • Not to be hypocritical, but the Rectorat already requires you to have working papers in order to start working for them. I had to have them after my stage year, but I think I was a fluke for that first year because since then they’ve bugged me about it every year.

        So the student visa situation won’t be sustainable in the long-term anyway. Lots of married (or PACSed!) people work in the Catholic schools and have working papers that don’t require any stress for the Rectorat or the Enseignement Catholique—so why should they be cut off??

        That said I totally get how “staying in France” can work year by year—it worked that way for me—and how one may have counted on a student carte doing the trick while waiting for a different kind of carte de séjour the following year.

  1. Oh, I’m not saying I think they should be cut off! It just seems like it wasn’t thought through in terms of the student visa. Technically, you’re still a student now during the stage year which is creating the whole “right to work or not” thing. Should she already have the right to work while still being a student? They assigned the girl a post, let her start, and then were like “Oh, wait…” She can’t be the only case.

    We’ll see. (In her case, she can apply for the vie privee thanks to PACS eventually, so she’ll have papers for when she’s an actual teacher.)

    • Actually, cases like your friend and me are very rare! My first year I didn’t have the vie privée carte and I was the only person the woman at the rectorat had ever met like that! Anyway, I hope it works out for her.

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