Government: Nicole Belloubet, the new risky bet in education

After four weeks of controversy, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra is leaving National Education. The record for the brevity of Benoît Hamon, who remained five months at the head of this ministry in 2014, was broken. To try to forget this fiasco, the executive branch decided to rely on the former minister of justice, Nicole Belloubet. A seemingly reassuring profile, since the latter, who began her political career in the Socialist Party, was rector of the academies in Limoges and Toulouse between 1997 and 2005, and therefore knows the world of teachers well. But a rather surprising choice, Nicole Belloubet could appear as the “anti-Gabriel Attal”, as her beliefs on education issues differ from those of the prime minister (in a 2016 article she condemned “nonsense about restoring authority or wearing a blouse”).

“Given the positions she held in the past, we wonder how she will be able to withstand the shock of knowledge (a set of reforms announced by Gabriel Attal when he was Minister of National Education, editor's note),” asks Jean-Rémi Girard, president of the National Union of Secondary schools and colleges (Snalc).

Appointed by a combination of circumstances, Nicole Belloubet is used to playing firefighters on duty. In 2017, she left the Constitutional Council to become keeper of the seal, following the resignation of François Bayrou, who had just been hit by the MoDem parliamentary aides affair. In this position, unknown to the general public, he managed to impose a controversial reform of the judiciary. But she was not always good at communication. We especially remember his gaffe, in January 2020, in connection with the Milo affair, this 16-year-old girl was threatened with death after comments that were deemed offensive about Islam. “An insult to religion is clearly an attack on freedom of conscience, it's serious,” Nicole Belloubet said on Europe 1, before regretting the “clumsy expression” a few hours later.

She is capable of making a big mistake for us, which could even overshadow those of AOC

Has it improved since then? Some doubt it. “She is precise, professional, hard-working, but it is difficult to assert herself politically. While she was the keeper of the seal, she never had control over her files,” warns, on condition of anonymity, a person from the majority cited by Le Point. Who also conveys the concerns of an elected official of Horizons: “She is capable of making a big mistake for us, which could even overshadow those of the AOC (Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, editor's note) and we will still have to find someone else. »

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