Cross-border children from France can’t attend Swiss schools

Cross-border children from France can’t attend Swiss schools
Kids living in France won't be allowed to attend Geneva schools. Photo: AFP
When the Swiss school year resumes on August 24th, kids living in France won't be able to attend schools in Geneva, despite a legal battle.

In 2019, the French region called the 'Pôle métropolitain du Genevois français', which encompasses 120 French communes adjacent to the Swiss border, filed a lawsuit in Geneva to force cantonal authorities to allow cross-border students to attend their public schools.

The legal action was launched to appeal Geneva's previous decision to no longer admit children domiciled outside the canton to compulsory schools.

This week, the city of Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, which is located on the French side of the border just 10 kilometres from Geneva, withdrew the lawsuit.

It deemed the legal process “tedious and expensive” and the outcome too uncertain to continue the fight, as reported by Tribune de Genève.

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Geneva had previously accepted students from across the border if places in classrooms were available. Many families live in France but work in Switzerland, known as frontaliers.

With the new ruling, however, the only exceptions will be made for the French children who already started their education in the canton, or whose siblings attend Geneva schools.

But no new students from France will be accepted.

READ MORE: Can Swiss cantons force you to send your child to school despite quarantine? 

According to Cantonal Statistics Office, 1,500 primary and secondary school students in Geneva live in neighbouring France.

The Pôle métropolitain authorities want children from their area to attend schools in Geneva because their own education system is under strain due to much stronger demographic growth in their region than in Geneva itself.

Geneva State Council President Antonio Hodgers hailed France's decision to withdraw the lawsuit as a “wise move”.

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