Education

Student outrage as crucial debate on Gaza is tabled for Shabbat eve

By Simon Friend, March 5, 2009

Jewish students at University College London have threatened to resign from the union after a stormy AGM last Friday afternoon in which a motion was passed attacking Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

The motion declared that UCL had “a responsibility to condemn Israel’s attacks on Gaza”, and was passed by a majority of 34 votes.

The AGM was due to have been held three weeks ago but was delayed because of snow. Instead, it was rescheduled for Friday afternoon.

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Rabbis warn against 'unsuitable' teacher training on child abuse

By Simon Rocker, March 5, 2009

Strictly Orthodox rabbis have warned schools to beware of unsuitable teacher training material on child abuse.

A letter from the rabbinical council of the London-based Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, alerted Charedi school and kindergarten heads to new government regulations said to be “a difficult and bitter decree against Torah education”.

It also warned of a “danger” posed to teachers by NVQ training material and said teachers should avoid visiting “institutions which are not Charedi” without rabbinical permission.

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JFS entry policy is challenged

By Simon Rocker, February 26, 2009

A legal battle over the right of Jewish schools to define who is a Jew is to be heard by the Court of Appeal.

The case is being brought on behalf of a boy known as “M”, who was turned down by the JFS Comprehensive in Kenton, north London in September 2007 because his mother is a Progressive convert.

After a four-day hearing in March last year, Mr Justice Munby upheld the United Synagogue school’s right to reject applicants who do not meet the Orthodox definition of Jewish status.

He ruled that its entry policy did not breach race relations law.

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Israel lesson at KD prize day

By Jonathan Kalmus, February 26, 2009

Manchester King David governors’ chair Joshua Rowe changed the programme for the high school’s prize day on Tuesday to show the 1,500 audience a high-tech presentation on the history of Israel’s conflicts.

Mr Rowe took the decision to counter the increasing number of pupils and parents questioning the morality of Israel’s Gaza campaign.

“There are certainly students asking questions,” he explained. “People are influenced by the media and parents can be somewhat apathetic. The battlefront is everywhere.

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Approved by Ofsted

By John Fisher, February 26, 2009

Ofsted inspectors have upgraded the Brodetsky Primary School in Leeds from satisfactory to “good with outstanding features”. The Alwoodley primary also received a top score from Pikuach Jewish studies assessors.

Head Simon Camby was praised by the Ofsted team for “the inspiration from which all staff gain strength”.

There was “outstanding” provision for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the 250 pupils and the children displayed good knowledge of healthy eating and keeping fit.

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Education for all from Masorti

By James Martin, February 26, 2009

Subjects ranging from the Bible and Talmud to an introduction to Islam are among the 50 classes available from Masorti’s new adult education programme, Lishma.

Launching in March, it will be held in venues in North-West London and Hertfordshire and will be open to non-Masorti members.

Lishma founder Matt Plen believes that “Masorti’s blend of traditional, tolerant, open-minded Judaism is relevant to people across the community.

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Manchester school receives glowing report from Ofsted

February 26, 2009

Manchester Mesivta has been assessed as a “good school with outstanding features” by Ofsted inspectors.

The inspectors reported that “the school is very successful in achieving its aim to develop in pupils a passion for learning”.

They were also impressed by the respect shown between the secondary school’s 200 pupils and by its leadership and management. Head Phaivish Pink provided clear direction and inspired staff with his love of the school and determination to improve its quality of education.

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Cross-communal school appoints first head

February 19, 2009

A global search for the inaugur-al head of the Jewish Community Secondary School has ended with an appointment close to home.

Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, 35, has been chosen by the JCoSS governors to preside over the cross-communal school which opens in Barnet in September 2010. He is deputy head at Swakeleys Secondary School in Hillingdon but previously served two Barnet schools with a significant Jewish intake — Copthall and Mill Hill County. He has also worked with autistic children at a special school.

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Hertsmere receives top marks

By Ben Jaglom, February 18, 2009

Hertsmere Jewish Primary School is celebrating an “outstanding” rating from Ofsted inspectors and a top score for Jewish studies from Pikuach assessors.

Ofsted found the curriculum “extremely well planned, including a remarkably effective balance between the secular curriculum and Jewish studies”. Tuition standards were excellent with staff ensuring “there are many opportunities for imagination and play, both indoors and outside”.

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Rosh Pinah backtracks on changes

By Jay Grenby, February 18, 2009

Parents of pupils at Edgware’s Rosh Pinah Primary have cautiously welcomed a “climb-down” by the school over changes to its Jewish studies curriculum.

Last Friday, the JC reported parental anger at the removal of chumash and Rashi from the syllabus. On the same day parents were sent a letter from school leaders claiming “it was always intended that chumash would be incorporated and take its rightful place as an integral part of the Jewish studies curriculum”.

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