Leeds closes in on secondary

Leeds has moved closer to having its first Jewish secondary school with a free school application reaching the final interview stage.

Jewish community education leaders have been invited to the Department for Education for clarification of plans for a 210-place secondary school on the Brodetsky Jewish Primary campus in Alwoodley.

The interview does not guarantee approval but is the last of four rigorous stages. An almost identical application failed last year, but the DfE invited a reapplication after civil servants were criticised for rejecting the plans without citing specific reasons. The application's outcome will be announced in July or August.

Dan Cohen, the prime mover behind the proposal, said reaching the interview stage meant the DfE had "confirmed what we know, which is there is no question our proposal was viable, sensible and needed.

‘Demand for a Jewish high school in the area is robust’

"Unlike most other school applications, we can speak to the vast majority of our core market.

"So far as we are concerned, the demand for a Jewish high school in Leeds is robust."

Mr Cohen said a parallel application for a voluntary-aided Jewish secondary via Leeds City Council was still being pursued as an alternative to the free school application and was at an early consultation stage.

    Last updated: 3:36pm, April 27 2012