Education

Fee crisis shuts Orthodox school

By Robyn Rosen, June 10, 2010

A strictly Orthodox girls' primary in west Hendon was forced to close for four days until parents paid overdue fees.

Beis Soroh Schneirer, in Wilberforce Road, faces serious financial difficulties and needs to pay the Nationwide £300,000 in mortgage fees by the end of the month.

It was owed £200,000 in school fees and informed parents last week that it would not reopen until it had received the money.

Lessons resumed on Wednesday after £120,000 in fees had been paid.

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Council blunders on Hertsmere school places

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2010

Six children have been denied places at Hertsmere Jewish Primary School's nursery this autumn after the local council miscalculated the distance of their homes from the school.

The heavily oversubscribed HJPS gives priority for its 60 nursery places firstly to those with siblings at the school and, next, to those living closest to it, according to measurements by Hertfordshire County Council.

But the council admitted this week that it had got the calculations wrong in some cases.

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New head for Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary

By Judith Hayman, June 3, 2010

Claire Simon will bring over 30 years' teaching experience to the headship of Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School, which she takes up in September.

Mrs Simon, 56, is currently assistant head at Accrington Academy, where she teaches maths and is in charge of the transition from primary school programme. She also chairs its PTA.

"I want more parents to be aware of what a really good school Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary is," she said. "I want to make it the hub of the community. I will ensure that every child, every teacher and every parent matters."

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NW Jewish parents seek Ilford school places

By Jay Grenby, June 3, 2010

Hertfordshire parents are contemplating sending their children on a daily cross-London journey to ensure them of Jewish school places.

Over two dozen people attended a meeting at Borehamwood Synagogue at which Ilford Jewish Primary head Roz Levin and governor Howard Kemp talked about the school and its ethos. Unlike in Herts, where many families face disappointment over Jewish school applications, IJPS has 17 places available in its reception class.

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Salmond: Scots Jews are not persecuted

By Leon Symons, May 27, 2010

Scotland's First Minister has dismissed the claim that the country's Jewish community is shrinking because of a rise in antisemitism.

But speaking this week to a meeting arranged by Glasgow Jewish Educational Forum, Alex Salmond did acknowledge that there were incidents.

He went on: "I don't share the analysis that the Jewish community is suffering a wave of persecution or that antisemitism in Scotland is rapidly growing and such a severe problem that it is jeopardising this community."

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Muslim group objects to Zionism in schools

By Simon Rocker, May 27, 2010

A Muslim campaign group has written to the new Education Secretary Michael Gove to object to state-aided Jewish schools promoting Zionism.

Mohammed Asif, the chief executive of Engage (not to be confused with the antisemitism monitoring group of the same name), said he was "more than a little surprised" to see Zionism included as part of the ethos of several Jewish schools.

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Ex-Charedim challenge school system

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 21, 2010

A former education minister, an ex-general and a university president have joined a group of formerly Charedi men in challenging the political arrangement which allows strictly Orthodox schools to receive state funding despite not teaching secular subjects.

For the past five years, the Education Ministry has been trying to make all Israeli schools that are financed by the government teach a set of core subjects - including grammar, mathematics, basic sciences and English - as a condition of funding.

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Optimism over Conservative faith school plan

May 21, 2010

The head of the Jewish Leadership Council's schools task force is hopeful that planned education reforms could help to relieve the pressure on places at Jewish schools.

One of the key pledges in the Conservative election manifesto was to make it easier for parents to open new schools with state funding.

This cannot come a moment too soon for parents in parts of Hertfordshire and north-west London, where there appears to be a growing shortage of Jewish primary school places.

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JLC retracts new Jewish school in Borehamwood

By Robyn Rosen, May 13, 2010

An announcement of a new Jewish school opening in Borehamwood in September 2011 has been mysteriously retracted by the Jewish Leadership Council.

Parents in Borehamwood have been campaigning to establish another school because of the oversubscription of Hertsmere Jewish Primary.

An email was circulated on May 3 to those registered with the JLC's findajewishschool website on the subject: "Plans for a new school in Borehamwood for Sep 2011."

It said the JLC "hope to bring news, in the next week or so, of a plan to open a new school in the Borehamwood area for September 2011".

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School may get 40% non-Jewish entry

By Simon Rocker, May 6, 2010

King Solomon High School in Essex is facing an increase in non-Jewish students this autumn in line with the predicted impact of more Jewish school places available elsewhere.

As many as 40 per cent of first year entrants to the state-aided comprehensive could be non-Jewish, according to rumours circulating at a Jewish education conference last week.

Spencer Lewis, King Solomon's head teacher, declined to release figures this week, but suggested that the composition of the intake would be exceptional this year.

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