Données sociales : la société française - 2002-2003 ed.
Working towards universal secondary education (1985-2001)
Since the mid-eighties, the French Education authorities' unilateral drive to make secondary education universal has yielded significant results. In 2001, 70% of the young generations concerned attended school till the terminal year of secondary school, against 35% in 1985, and 38% stayed on and obtained a further education diploma against 15% only in 1980. This progress is based on the fact that enrolment in the first cycle of secondary schooling (British sixth to ninth grades) is now near-universal, with 97% of young people in France attending 9 th grade (French «troisième»), an achievement that was further boosted between 1985 and 1990 by increased flows of students enrolling in general and technical second cycles of secondary education, which thus witnessed a tremendous influx of students. These trends were dampened somewhat come 1993-94, with a fall in enrolment in the general education stream exacerbated by demographic developments, with signs of a slowdown in the increase in enrolment in further education among younger students.