June 15, 2021

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Jean-Michel Blanquer bans inclusive writing, “an obstacle to reading and comprehension”, at school

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The search for equality must not penalize students by resorting to inclusive writing “whose complexity and instability constitute as many obstacles to the acquisition of language as of reading”, estimates the Minister of ‘National Education.

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Inclusive writing is prohibited at school, confirms the Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer Thursday, May 6 in a circular addressed to rectors of academies, directors and directors of the central administration, as well as ” staff from the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports.

If equality between girls and boys should be “built, promoted and guaranteed by the School of the Republic”, it must be done in particular by “the training of all staff and the transmission of a culture of equality”, recalls the ministry. It also involves the promotion and use of the feminization of certain terms. But this quest for equality should not penalize students by resorting to inclusive writing. “whose complexity and instability constitute as many obstacles to the acquisition of language as of reading”.

The ministry quotes Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, perpetual secretary of the French Academy and Marc Lambron, current director of the French Academy. On May 5, 2021, they estimated that inclusive writing “is not only counterproductive” at a time of the fight against sexist discrimination, “but harmful to the practice and intelligibility of the French language”.

The circular therefore recalls that compliance with grammatical rules “is de rigueur” in the teachings. She therefore emphasizes that “outlaw the use of inclusive writing”, because some rules falling under this writing “modify the respect of the rules of usual agreements” taught at school. The fragmentation of words and chords also constitutes “an obstacle to reading and understanding writing”.

The ministry also recommends the use of the feminization of trades and functions. He likewise suggests that “the choice of examples or statements” in class “must respect equality between girls and boys, both through the feminization of terms and the fight against stereotypical representations”.

Inclusive writing uses in particular the midpoint to simultaneously reveal the feminine and masculine forms of a word used in the masculine when the latter is used in a generic sense.



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