Leeds high school is in demand

Evidence of community support for the proposed Leeds Jewish secondary school was apparent in a turnout of 150 for a consultation meeting on Tuesday.

The campaign for a 210-place secondary suffered a setback last year when the Department for Education rejected an earlier application for a school to be established on the Brodetsky Jewish Primary campus in Alwoodley.

Brodetsky is now planning a fresh free-school application for a September 2013 opening.

It is also seeking separate approval for a voluntary-aided school funded by the local authority as an alternative should the DfE reject the new proposal.

If you want a vibrant community, a high school is an integral part of that

The local authority option would see the primary become an extended school with a maximum 720 students. Brodetsky currently educates 309 children.

However, this scheme requires £250,000 in capital funding from the Jewish community. The government would meet the cost under the free school plan.

Brodetsky head-teacher Jeremy Dunford, who would head the new school, expressed confidence that both options would be approved after early consultation results indicated 87 per cent support from parents and local residents.

"The most important thing is that parents need to reaffirm their commitment to send their children to the planned school so we know we have them on board," he said.

"This is a community sustainability issue. If you want a vibrant Jewish community in Leeds in the future, a high school is an integral part of that."

Last updated: 10:58am, January 27 2012