Hong Kong teachers could barely imagine an education system where teachers have no responsibilities beyond teaching their subject, and only need be in school to take their classes. The rest of the time is theirs, to plan as they please. But such a system exists, in France, and is the model for the French International School of Hong Kong in Happy Valley. Olivier Gazeau performs the role in the school that gives teachers such freedom. He is in charge of the vie scholaire, or school life office, which takes care of all pastoral and extra-curricular activities, as well as life-skills education, discipline, and communications with parents. 'The vie scholaire takes care of everything outside the classroom, which takes a huge burden off teachers' shoulders,' he said. Teachers, meanwhile, were expected to have a deep intellectual expertise in their subject and teaching practice - not to spend time doing routine jobs others could take care of. 'It is my job to help kids through the day. If they have problems with their teachers, peers, parents or anything else they can talk to me.' Mr Gazeau works a 39-hour week. He does not work on evenings, weekends and holidays. Teachers, who are highly respected in French society, are only required in school when they have lessons to teach - 20 to 25 hours a week, with less for the more highly qualified teachers.