High School Diploma


Should high school diploma be removed ? 

Each year debates around the question of whether or not high school diploma should be removed take place raising numerous questions.

In order to go beyond received wisdom and enlight new debates surrounding this issue, the National Council for School System (Cnesco) has produced a summary report based on:

  • international comparisons ;
  • assessments from statistical studies ;
  • research summaries.

Summary report

Is High school diploma a French specificity? Does it enhance student’s learning? How do optional grades affect the honors rating? Has high school diploma really been generalized in France? Do student have the same chances to succeed with no regards how their geographical situation? Should we lower the cost of the examination? Does it allow to find a job?

Is high school diploma a French specificity?

The idea of removing the high school diploma is frequently debated in France. However when you look at other countries around the world, this debate seems to go against current tendencies.

In 20 years the number of OECD countries organizing a national (or central) high school diploma by the end of secondary school has almost doubled. On the 37 OECD countries, 27 (two thirds) have a final examination.

Today no country has ever suppressed their high school diploma.

Cnesco gives examples of countries that have had a high school diploma for a very long time such as Finland, countries that recently implemented it such as French peaking Belgium or Austria, and countries that have different grading systems (USA, Japan…)