Clegg promises schools continued security funding
Deputy PM's question time: Nick Clegg chats to seven-year-old North Cheshire pupil Talia Gross
Nick Clegg has pledged that the Government will continue to fund security personnel at Jewish schools for the foreseeable future.
As the Department for Education this week confirmed more than £2 million of funding for 2012, the Deputy Prime Minister spent more than an hour meeting governors, staff and pupils at the North Cheshire Jewish Primary, which is rated among the country's top primaries.
He told the JC that the governors' chair and headteacher had asked him: "Is this support from the government going to continue?
"Clearly the security challenge is not something that is going to disappear overnight. In many respects, tragically, the incidents of antisemitism and antisemitic violence have increased, particularly in Manchester, in recent months, which I think is a cause of immense concern.
Tragically, incidents of antisemitism have increased
"So clearly these costs and needs are with us and will be with us for some time to come. The Government will continue to stand by schools like this to try and do our bit to provide some extra resources where that helps to cover security costs."
In the last budgetary year, £2 million was offered by the DfE for distribution to 39 voluntary aided Jewish schools towards security. But the department had held back an announcement on 2012 funding pending a review.
On Tuesday, it revealed that 42 Jewish schools can claim a share of a £2,153 million pot.
The DfE said Education Secretary Michael Gove had confirmed that the Community Security Trust "would continue to distribute the money directly to the schools and meet the costs of distribution itself. This funding is subject to the signing of a funding agreement between the Secretary of State and the CST, which is due to happen shortly."
A CST representative said: "These are difficult times and CST welcomes the renewal of this financial aid for Jewish school security guards."
North Cheshire governors' vice-chair Andrew Joseph said Mr Clegg's visit had been "fantastic, in being able to show how successful denominational schools can be in providing excellent Jewish and secular education".