by Simon Jahnich, France


In 2007 Nicolas Sarkozy right after being elected President announced that school zoning regulations would be first relaxed and then dropped altogether. This action was presented as a measure to foster the free choice of families and to create new opportunities for families from lower economic backgrounds, living in decayed urban areas. Surprisingly, this measure was also part of the programme of the socialist candidate. In the following lines, the text first discuss how this consensus raises issues about the context that made the end of school zoning so tempting for both the right- wing party and the left-wing party (I). Second, it also raises questions as to the aims of such a decision (II). Finally, the text discusses a number of aissues concerned with the consequences of this decision for the French school system (III).

The GOETE Consortium Meeting was held in Turku, Finland, from June 29th to July 02nd 2010. Prof. Dr. Risto Rinne, head of the Finnish team, welcomed as many as 40 representatives from all partner teams who attended the meeting to discuss research related issues such as comparative analysis and dissemination strategies of the GOETE project. Turku was a particularly convenient place to meet, since the city hosts the European Capital of Culture 2011.

From 20th to 23rd February 2011, the third consortium meeting has been held in Bologna (Italy). Again, the young researchers group met one day earlier among themselves. This time the key issue was methodology of comparative analysis. The main meeting itself was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Education of the University of Boliogna, Prof. Dr. Roberto Farné who welcomed the project consortium and – together with the Bologna GOETE unit – secured optimal working conditions for the three days meeting.

Delegates from all participating GOETE partners involved in the qualitative case studies came together the 3rd and 4th of December 2010 in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) to discuss the current development and urgent issues regarding sampling and methodology of the qualitative case studies.

A key event of the first project year was the second consortium meeting held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 1st to 3rd of July, 2010. Representatives of all partner teams attended making up for more than 40 participants.