At least 1,000 protesters clashed with police in the French city of Toulouse on Thursday as opposition mobilises to the government's proposed school reform with at least 200 high schools blockaded across France.

Protesters erected barricades, started fires and hurled rocks at police, who in turn responded with tear gas.

The government is seeking to change many aspects of the French education system, but proposals to introduce selective criteria for university admissions have proven to be particularly unpopular among students. Currently anyone who passes their baccalaureate test at the end of secondary education is guaranteed entrance to a publicly funded university.

In the past days, nationwide protests have been held in Paris, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon and Nantes.

On Thursday, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer urged people to stay at home over the weekend, with the government fearing an escalation of violence in the coming days.

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