Two independent Jewish schools banned from admitting new pupils

Posted: Thu, 21 Oct 2021

Two independent Jewish schools banned from admitting new pupils

Two independent Jewish schools in London have been barred from admitting new pupils after inspectors identified serious and persistent failings.

The Department for Education (DfE) published enforcement notices last week which it sent to the schools in August. The enforcement action prevents the schools from admitting new pupils.

Bnois Jerusalem Girls School was given a statutory notice in 2018 after it failed to meet standards in multiple inspections.

Its most recent Ofsted inspection in March found that "teaching about the scientific theories behind the origins of [the diversity of] life" was "completely omitted".

The report also said the content of the school's secular curriculum "remains narrow" and pupils were "not allowed to talk about" same-sex relationships or gender reassignment "at any time".

The school's previous failings have included teaching creationism in geography and science and failing to enter pupils for exams at GCSE level because leaders were not allowed to censor exam papers.

TTD Gur School, an all-boys school, failed to meet all standards inspected in March. The inspection report said its plans for teaching personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education did not include "opportunities to learn about the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010", including "the roles of women".

It said the school's secular subject curriculum was "weak", and pupils did not have enough opportunities to learn about Britain, other cultures and other countries.

The inspector was unable to find out about how pupils respect people from different backgrounds, because school leaders did not permit the inspector to discuss anything with pupils aside from "safety, safeguarding, learning, behaviour and bullying".

Leaders were unable to provide a curriculum policy or schemes of work for the subjects taught, the report said. Leaders could not show how they promote "mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs" or fundamental British values.

NSS head of education Alastair Lichten said: "These schools are failing because they prioritise religious indoctrination over teaching children the knowledge they need to prepare them for adult life.

"No school, whatever its ethos, should be allowed to deprive its pupils of their basic right to a suitable education."

"The DfE is right to take action. But if these schools continue to refuse to provide a decent standard of education, they must be closed down."

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Tags: Independent schools