The education authority
The Poitiers education authority spans the Poitou-Charentes region, comprising the following 4 départements:
The region links the two major parts of western France with Brittany-Pays de Loire to the north and Aquitaine-Midi-Pyrénées to the south. Its geographical location has also made it a crossroads and something of a transit hub.
The climate here is oceanic.
This is a primarily rural education authority with strong rural traditions and no major cities. It centres instead around a network of four modestly-sized towns and smaller cities, namely Angoulême, La Rochelle, Niort and Poitiers, which are evenly distributed throughout the region and connected by intermediate urban areas.
Poitiers is 1hr 30 minutes from Paris by TGV. Angoulême is 3hrs from Paris. All of the small and medium-sized towns in the region are served by a regional rail network.
Tourist and cultural attractions
The city of Poitiers:
- the Cathédrale Saint Pierre (St. Peter's Cathedral) (17th and 18th Centuries), with organs by François-Henri Clicquot
- the Palais de Justice ('Law Court'): former residence of the Counts of Poitou and Dukes of Aquitaine
- Sainte-Croix Museum
- the botanical gardens
- 10km from Poitiers: Futuroscope.
Charente Maritime: La Rochelle, Ile de Ré, Ile d'Oléron, Fort Boyard
Angoulême: home of the comic book: comic book festival in late January, battlements trail in September, Gastronomades food festival in late November, Festival Musiques Métisses ('Festival of Mixed Race Music') in May....the list goes on.
Deux-Sèvres: the Marais Poitevin marshlands.
The place of the teaching assistant within the education authority
Many assistants are assigned to 2 different schools.
The contact teachers at the collèges or lycées in question will liaise with one another to organise the assistant's working hours to enable them to be at one school at a time, depending on any projects that might be under way, which should enable the assistant to get to know the schools, their colleagues and their pupils better.
The timetable may vary but should be devised in conjunction with the assistant (organisation, activities, number of pupils, rooms, etc.) and will be closely linked to any subject-specific or cross-curricular projects in place within the school.
Each assistant has a contact teacher within the school who is responsible for guiding them and organising their contributions to classroom-based teaching.
Over 70% of assistants are housed in residential accommodation.
The inspectorate highly recommends that assistants and teachers jointly coordinate the assistant's activities within the classroom.