French courts say 'non' to 'rate my teacher'

Ratings "incite public disorder"

French students will no longer be able to rate their teachers, after the country’s law courts ruled in favour of the educators’ unions.

The education ministry and teachers’ representative bodies took action after the launch of note2be.com allowed pupils to post teachers’ names and rate their performance and abilities.

Although the company was fined a nominal €1 and legal fees for the 20 teachers who had taken part in the landmark case, they have been warned that future cases where teachers’ names are revealed will be met with a €1,000 (£765) fine.

Incitement to public disorder

The decision that the site represented an ‘incitement to public disorder’ has already been met with disbelief by co-founder Stephane Cola. He told Reuters: "This is an astonishing and surprising decision that has worrying implications for the development of the web.

"The ranking and evaluation of professionals on the web is a fundamental principle and a primary motor of the internet around the world."

The site had allowed users to grade teachers according to six categories - how interesting, fair, available, respectful, clear and motivated they were - but this accountability was not welcomed by the establishment.

Education Minister Xavier Darcos was delighted with the ruling, adding that he "totally supported teachers whose difficult mission will not be the object of anonymous attacks on the internet".