A farmer has enrolled 15 sheep at a French primary school to boost pupil numbers after authorities announced plans to close a class.
Jules Ferry school in Crêts-en-Belledonne, a village in the Alps northeast of Grenoble, had seen its student numbers fall from 266 to 261. But in an act of defiance herder Michel Girerd decided to symbolically register some of his ewes.
Among the new pupils are Baa-bete, Dolly and Shaun. Mr Girerd appeared with 50 of his ewes outside the school for a special ceremony attended by some 200 teachers, pupils and officials.
Mayor Jean-Louis Maret was presented with their birth certificates during the event.
He questioned the “annoying threshold logic” which could prompt such a class closure. “Now we shouldn’t have any closures,” parent Gaelle Laval said, who added that the education system was “not concerned with the arguments on the ground, just numbers”. Children at the event held signs reading, “We are not sheep”.