Ecole Jeannine Manuel 

With 3 campuses across Bloomsbury in Central London, bilingual Ecole Jeannine Manuel is linked closely to her sister school in Paris. The Paris school was founded by Jeannine Manuel in 1954.

Returning to Paris from London after the war, Jeannine could not find a school to suit her children. So she founded her own, offering an education to help shape ‘whole’ people, by which she meant, ‘individuals aware of their presence in this world, engaged in its history, and ready to play a part in world affairs’.


As a fully bilingual school, Jeannine Manuel aims to have children achieve native fluency- both writing and orally in both languages 

New French Learners 

As a London bilingual school, Jeannine Manuel is unusual in that it allows students to join without French ability at any stage.  The school does its best to help these students reach the highest level of French possible, and most do extremely well although they may not be fully bilingual. All sit the International Baccalaureate (IB).  Pupils studying French from scratch will in full language immersion in all classes. They may not understand everything but they are helped by their classmates. They also have intensive lessons in smaller classes.  However, students who don’t speak English need to join  Jeannine Manuel before Year 7. The school does not admit non-English speakers beyond this point. 

Jeannine Manuel Families 

The school currently has 45 nationalities  – French and UK form the biggest contingent.  There are also a large proportion of US, Lebanese, Italian and Spanish families.  There are six bus routes into the school including from Fulham, South Kensington, Notting Hill, Paddington and North London. 

Pastoral Care 

Jeannine Manuel doesn’t have a counsellor on-site. However, as classes are small, teachers know students well and are able to pick up any issues quickly.  There is a Care Committee, which focuses on key pastoral concerns, comprised of staff and a selection of students from Year 7 upwards.  Students volunteer for this. 

Class Sizes  

Class sizes are kept deliberately small.   The maximum class size in the school is 20 students.  For younger children in Nursery and La Petite Section, the maximum class size is 14 and in Moyenne Section (Reception and Year 1 UK equivalent), the maximum is 18.  There is a native-speaking English teacher and a native-speaking French teacher in every class.

Other Languages 

From Year 4 to Year 6, students have 2 hours of Mandarin per week.  Year 7 choose either to keep Mandarin or to switch to Latin.  If they keep Mandarin, they can continue this as part of the French Baccalaureate but not for the International Baccalaureate (IB) as Mandarin is not offered at the school at the IB level

Outdoor Space and Sports 

In the primary school, there is lots of outdoor space which is unusual for a central London school.  In the other schools, there are some courtyards but fewer outdoor places than the primary.  Pupils do PE at the YMCA on Tottenham Court Road and 1 term of swimming is mandatory.  They use the sports pitches on Coram’s Fields. 

Drama and Music 

Drama is part of the curriculum and music is studied for 45 minutes per week up to Year 10.  Pupils who want to learn individual instruments do so out of school.  In September 2023, the school is introducing a new programme in the nursery called ‘Music Sparks’ inspired by the Kodaly method.  They are investing in a new piano for this programme.   

Special Education Needs (SEN). 

There is no Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at Jeannine Manuel, as heads of department want to be directly involved in any additional support needed.  The school reviews the support that they are able to give on a case-by-case basis.  There are some children with ADHD and Dyslexia. The school does their best to accommodate any special educational needs and will timetable an art therapist or speech therapist if required. 

External Exams

Pupils sit either the International Baccalaureate, the French Baccalaureate or the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB), which combines the breadth and rigour of the French Baccalaureate with extra subjects taught and examined in another language

It is an additional advantage that the US Advanced Placement (AP) exams are offered in History and English Composition and Language.  This helps pupils to gain entry into US colleges. 

Students also sit IGCSE English and Maths.  In addition, optional and strongly encouraged for Year 11 students are the SIELE Spanish exams and German Goethe Institute exams.  The 2023 OIB French Baccalaureate results are impressive:  every student passed, 73% with Mention Très Bien and 27% with Mention Bien. 


Jeannine Manuel has a wealth of clubs ranging from coding, robotics and Python to football, basketball, street dance and a Shakespeare Club.    The students are in the process of forming a model United Nations (UN). 

University Applications 

University counselling starts early in Year 10.  Jeannine Manuel has a dedicated member of staff, focused entirely on advising on university applications.  Of the 2023 class of 26 students, three are heading to Cambridge, two to Columbia and Georgetown plus several to Imperial, St Andrew’s, the London School of Economics (LSE) and Toronto.   An impressive list.  The French Grandes Ecoles are not popular for Jeannine Manuel’s pupils for undergraduate study.  However, having completed their undergraduate degrees in the UK, several opted for Grandes Ecoles for postgraduate study. 

Overall, an excellent bilingual school with a strong international and global-facing philosophy.  Children do extremely well.  We like the incorporation of parts of the US system into the curriculum.   If your child is bright and loves languages, you should consider Jeannine Manuel. Or if you are a non-French speaking family, who would like your child to grow up bi-lingual, this is a great choice.

Please read more about London bilingual and French schools in our blogs about the Lycee Charles de Gaulle, Primary Schools of the Lycee Charles de Gaulle and French bilingual Secondary Schools in London. 

For further advice and for support applications to top international schools, please do contact us.