Education

Schools unite in interfaith celebration

December 9, 2009

Pupils at the Akiva Primary in Finchley were joined by their Catholic counterparts from the neighbouring St Theresa’s School to celebrate the presentation of an award to interfaith relations pioneer Sir Sigmund Sternberg by the former Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

The pupils gave performances about Chanucah and Christmas before Sir Sigmund received a star to add to his papal knighthood, awarded in 1985 in recognition of efforts to promote relations between Jews and Catholics.

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey also addressed the gathering.

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Rosh Pinah head is to stand down

By Robyn Rosen, December 9, 2009

Rosh Pinah Jewish Primary head Anthea Abery is to retire at the end of term.

Ms Abery, 61, said she had been waiting until the recent completion of an Ofsted inspection at the 472-pupil school.

Deputy head Judy Greenberg will become acting head and the school will advertise for Ms Abery’s replacement in the new year.

She was appointed head in 2003 after five years in the deputy’s role.

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Faith school should teach all religions, says Rabbi

By Simon Rocker, December 3, 2009

A lobby group headed by a senior Reform rabbi has called for religious education to be added to the national curriculum — which would require faith schools to teach religions other than their own.

The Accord Coalition, chaired by Rabbi Jonathan Romain, wants to ensure that children at religious schools learn at least something about other faiths.

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JCoSS deputy's job is 'too good to miss'

December 3, 2009

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Girls’ sixth-form head Patrick Moriarty has been appointed deputy head of JCoSS, the Jewish Community Secondary School opening in Barnet next September. He starts his duties in January.

Prior to joining Haberdashers — where he also co-ordinated the programme for gifted students — Mr Moriarty, 43, taught at voluntary aided schools including the highly regarded Latymer in Edmonton.

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South London: Jewish school plans spell revival?

By Robyn Rosen, November 26, 2009

Plans for a Jewish school could be the salvation of south London Jewry, where congregations are struggling to combat dwindling memberships and an exodus of the young.

Around 13,000 Jews live in the area, making up eight per cent of the capital’s population. With no Jewish schools, kosher shops and few other services available to the community, many young couples move to north London once they have children.

A Jewish primary is seen as a means of stemming the tide, along with a recruitment drive for younger families and students.

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Jewish school entry: how do they do it overseas?

November 19, 2009

The United States

Just as the US has no Chief Rabbi, it has no one uniform standard for entry to Jewish schools.

“We have variety and a lot of choice. I don’t think the one-size-fits-all standard would work in an American context,” says Marc Kramer, executive director of RAVSAK, an organisation of community day schools which are not affiliated with any branch of American Judaism.

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Sex education gets a cautious welcome

By Leon Symons, November 12, 2009

Jewish education leaders have given a guarded welcome to the government’s announcement of its plans for sex education in schools.

Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, unveiled plans to make personal, social, health and economic education compulsory in schools from 2011.

Faith schools will have to teach the new curriculum, but “within the tenets of their faith”, said Mr Balls.

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Simon Marks head resigns

By Robyn Rosen, November 12, 2009

Simon Marks Primary head Nicole Delamere has resigned. In a letter sent this week, parents of pupils at the Hackney school were informed that she had quit after just a year in charge to “pursue her career in education in a different setting”.

When the head did not return after half term, the school originally claimed she was on “sick leave”.

Deputy head Norma Blair-Clayden has taken over as acting head. Parents have also been notified that year five teacher Rohan Plunkett will be leaving in December.

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Kelly gives school high marks

November 12, 2009

Former Education Secretary Ruth Kelly stressed the value of faith schools when addressing a dinner in aid of Edgware Jewish Primary at the Marriott Swiss Cottage on Monday.

Before an audience of 250, Mrs Kelly expressed fond recollections of a visit to the school, which she said was led by an exceptional team. Pupils were imbued with a love of Judaism and of secular studies.

“Many people are quick to write off faith schools, yet the Judeo-Christian values taught in faith schools are precisely what underpins all of Western society,” she added.

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School in radical Islam link

By Simon Rocker, October 29, 2009

Haringey Council has suspended funding to an Islamic primary school whose backers have been linked to the radical group Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HUT).

The Islamic Shaksiyah Foundation, which runs schools in Tottenham, north London, and in Slough, received £113,411 of government educational grants in 2007/8, according to a report from the Centre for Social Cohesion due out this week.

It named ISF trustees Farah Ahmed and Yusra Hamilton as members of HUT, a group which Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling said he would ban.

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