The Espérance Banlieue Foundation was created in 2012 by Eric Mestrallet and seeks to offer schools that are alternatives and complement traditional schools in neighbourhoods where there is an urgent need for good education. The foundation currently has 11 schools across France. In Toulon, a team of teachers and supervisors has launched the Eric Tabarly school, a member of the Espérance Banlieue network, with the aim of placing the sea at the heart of its educational programme.
The objective is clear - stop children from deprived areas of Toulon dropping out of education and help them to integrate French society by passing on the best of French culture. The educational method is demanding, pragmatic, rigorous and innovative. The aim is to get students thinking for themselves.
Classes of 10-15 students
The team leading the project is targeting the areas of Toulon with priority educational needs - La Beaucaire, Pontcarral, Beaulieu/ Ste Marie, Jonquet/ Baume /Guynemer, La Florane, Pont du Las / Rodeilhac, Sainte-Musse, city centre. The children can enrol at Eric Tabarly school for their primary school education. Class sizes will be 10-15 pupils and the school is non-confessional. A close relationship will be maintained with the students' parents, as the teaching staff believe them to be the students' first educators.
The project is being developed by private sponsors, private individuals and the Veolia Foundation.