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SCHOOL

The 29 stationery items that schoolchildren in France (apparently) need

As children in France prepare to go back to school, don't forget to check out the French government's list of stationery items children will need for the new school year.

The 29 stationery items that schoolchildren in France (apparently) need
You might need a suitcase for all the stationery. Photo: AFP

French children still have plenty of holiday time left before schools go back on September 1st, but if you have visited a supermarket recently you might have noticed the huge amounts of stationery on sale.

This is because of the list that parents get from their kids’ schools each year.

In total the list, available online from the French government, runs to 29 items for primary school children, with extra items for pupils going to college or lycée.

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The full list is:

  • one large workbook (21cm by 29cm)
  • one small workbook (17cm by 22cm)
  • loose sheets of A4 size paper, both single and double
  • a music workbook
  • a rigid folder (A4 size)
  • a non-rigid folder (A4 size)
  • two protective covers for workbooks
  • transparent file pockets
  • a roll of plastic (for covering books)
  • four biros (blue, black, red and green)
  • pencils
  • 12 colouring pencils
  • 12 felt tipped pens
  • five tubes of coloured poster paint
  • an eraser
  • a correcter pen
  • one tube of glue
  • a roll of sellotape
  • one A4 folder with plastic pockets
  • one pencil case
  • three paintbrushes of differing sizes (numbers 6,10 and 14 or 4,10 and 16 are recommended)
  • one 30cm plastic ruler
  • a 12cm plastic protractor
  • a plastic set square
  • one pair of compasses (metal or plastic)
  • one pair of scissors with rounded ends
  • a pencil sharpener
  • a diary

The list has been put together by parents and teachers working together and apparently takes into account budget constraints and the weight of the child’s schoolbag.

Low-income families get a grant to cover costs of the return to school, including buying all that stationery, which is distributed from August 16th – click here to find out how to apply.
 

But parents shouldn’t be too concerned about being arrested by the stationery police if they don’t have all the items on the list – which is described as a guideline rather than a rule.

Member comments

  1. “four biros (blue, black, red and green)”

    I always wondered why the Bic 4-color pens I use were made in France (unlike other ballpoint pens). I see it’s important there!

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PROPERTY

What to expect from your 2023 French property tax bills

The annual demands for property taxes have begun arriving at households across France - and many people will notice quite a difference to last year's bill.

What to expect from your 2023 French property tax bills

Every year in September and October the French tax office sends out bills to households across France relating to property taxes – these are separate to income tax bills, which arrive over the summer.

The autumn bills are usually made up of three parts; taxe foncière, taxe d’habitation and the redevance audiovisuelle.

However, system changes to all three parts mean that for some people bills will be be much lower than last year, while others will have nothing at all to pay.

Here’s what changes;

Redevance audiovisuelle – this was the TV licence and was charged at €138 per household, with some exceptions for pensioners or people who had no TV.

This year, it has been scrapped for everyone (including second-home owners) so most people’s bills are €138 less than last year.

Taxe d’habitation – this is the householder’s tax, paid by the inhabitant of the property – whether you rent it or own it. This is gradually being phased out, a process that started in 2019. It has been done based on income, with those on lower incomes having the charge scrapped first until it is gradually scrapped for everyone – with the exception of very high earners and second home owners.

So depending on your income level, you may have already had the tax phased out, or it may be phased out for you this year, or you may be paying a reduced rate this year.

These two changes are part of a tax giveaway from president Emmanuel Macron, and at the bottom of your tax bill you will find a note explaining how the charges have changed this year, and what you would have paid without the reductions.

It will look something like this;

Taxe foncière – this is the property owners’ tax and is paid on any property that you own – if you own the home you live in you may need to pay both taxe d’habitation and taxe foncière and if you are a second-home owner you will also pay both.

In contrast to the other two taxes, however, this one has been going up in many areas.

In fact, it’s connected to the taxe d’habitation cut – local authorities used to benefit from taxe d’habitation, so the phasing out has left many of them short of money. In some areas, they have reacted by raising taxe foncière.

This tax is calculated based partly on the size and value of the property you own (which is why if you do any major renovations or add a swimming pool you need to tell the tax office) and partly on the tax level decided by your local authority. 

This means that the actual rate varies quite widely between different parts of France, but in some areas it has gone up by 20 percent.

You can find more about how the tax is calculated, and how to challenge your bill if you think it is excessive, HERE.

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