New girls' primary planned for north London

Strictly Orthodox parents who have been unable to find acceptable school places for their children have joined forces to create a new religious primary school for girls in north London.

Over 40 people attended a meeting last week to discuss plans for the Bnos Beis Yaakov School. Educational phil-anthropist Benjamin Perl will be the patron and honorary president and St John’s Wood Synagogue leader Richard Harounoff will chair the project.

The committee is searching for premises, preferably in Golders Green, Hendon or Finchley, and hope to open next September.

“There is a need for a religious girls’ primary school due to the lack of places,” Mr Harounoff said. “There are a lot of girls who don’t have anywhere to go. Parents are not willing to compromise to send them to schools without their ethos. We have had tremendous support from the community.”

People believed in the idea of “a strongly Orthodox school” blending religious and secular education. But Mr Harounoff anticipated that parents might not want to put their daughters’ names forward for fear of losing out on a place at an established school.

Mr Perl said the intention was to open with a reception class and add a further class each year. It could start with as few as three children with an initial outlay of £100,000 for rent, staff and maintenance costs. A longer term ambition would be the purchase of permanent premises.

Termly fees will start at around £750, but Mr Harounoff hoped “we can accommodate people no matter what their family’s income is”. The proposed school has no connection to the Beis Yaakov primary in Colindale.

    Last updated: 6:18pm, October 22 2009