Education

Minister praises Jewish schools' high standards

By Robyn Rosen, October 15, 2009

Schools secretary Ed Balls has praised the work of faith schools and emphasised the “high standards” he has seen at Jewish schools.

Mr Balls addressed more than 150 faith school teachers during the Keeping Faith in the System conference this week in central London. Representatives from Hertsmere Jewish Primary School, Beis Yaakov High School, Salford and Clore Tikva School in Ilford were among those who attended.

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JFS: Supreme Court grants legal aid

By Simon Rocker, October 2, 2009

In its first ever judgment, Britain’s new Supreme Court has said that legal aid must continue to be available in the dispute over entry to JFS.

Until now, the Legal Services Commission has funded the father of the boy whose rejection by the school two years ago prompted the legal action.

But the LSC did not want to be liable for paying the costs of JFS and its foundation body, the United Synagogue, in the event that the father lost when the case comes to the Supreme Court later this month.

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Ed Balls: Holocaust education is best investment

By Robyn Rosen, October 1, 2009

Schools Secretary Ed Balls has said the money put into Holocaust education is the “best investment” his department has made.

Mr Balls and his wife Yvette Cooper, the Work and Pensions Secretary, were among the 300 guests at the Holocaust Educational Trust dinner in central London.

Stressing the enduring importance of Holocaust education, he said young Britons were learning about the Shoah in a “relevant and sophisticated” way.

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Heads upset as JFS rejects their pupils

By Simon Rocker, October 1, 2009

Jewish primary school heads have voiced dismay that their pupils are not been given priority at JFS.

Vivienne Orloff, head of the Michael Sobell Sinai School, a United Synagogue primary which lies next door to JFS in Kenton, said it was “ridiculous” that children from Jewish primaries did not get preference. “It’s heartbreaking when you have the school on your doorstep. We want all our children to continue their education and what’s important is that the parents want them to.”

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Jewish primary school's headteacher returns from retirement

By Judith Hayman, September 24, 2009

Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary’s new head teacher has taken up the post for the second time in her career.

Norma Massel became the school’s head in 1990, and after nine years at the helm moved on to become head at North Cheshire Jewish Primary.

Mrs Massel retired from North Cheshire in January, aged 60. She explained: “It had been a very difficult year for me. My husband had died and I was looking after my 97-year-old mother, who died in February.” The retired head worked as a support teacher at Delamere Forest and as a Jewish studies teacher at North Cheshire.

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School entry rules 'fiasco'

By Simon Rocker, September 18, 2009

New school entry rules based on religious practice were slammed as a “fiasco” this week by the chairman of the Rabbinical Council of the United Synagogue, Rabbi Yitzchak Shochet.

He hit out as synagogues struggled with floods of inquiries from parents trying to ensure their children complied with the new admissions system.

Most Jewish schools have been forced to rewrite their rules after the Appeal Court ruled in June that they could no longer take children simply on the basis of whether their parents were Jewish.

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Synagogue attendance is not essential for JCoSS admission

September 17, 2009

The revised admissions policy for the Jewish Community Secondary School launching in Barnet next September was explained to 1,100 parents and prospective pupils at an open day on Sunday.

As with other Jewish schools, JCoSS has been reviewing its admissions criteria following a Court of Appeal judgment in June. In line with its commitment to be open to all Jews, synagogue attendance does not necessarily have to be a condition of entry. However, JCoSS will require evidence of shul membership or proof of two of three other conditions.

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School goes outside the faith to fill

By Simon Rocker, September 17, 2009

Ilford Jewish Primary School is accepting pupils from other faiths because there have been insufficient Jewish children to fill places.

Headteacher Roz Levin said that for the second academic year, non-Jewish children had been admitted “due to the fact that we are not oversubscribed”.

Five of this year’s 31 entrants to the reception class are not Jewish. Their families understood “we are a Jewish school and we only teach Judaism”, the head explained.

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JCoSS: 'It will do exactly what it says on the tin'

By Robyn Rosen, September 10, 2009

True to his key promotional role for the Jewish Community Secondary School, JCoSS head Jeremy Stowe-Lindner happily adopts a famous advertising phrase to encapsulate his hopes for the £50 million project.

Speaking one year ahead of the opening of the cross-communal school in Westbrook Crescent, Barnet, Mr Stowe-Lindner, 35, opines that JCoSS will “do exactly what it says on the tin.

“What we’re trying to do is create an inclusive, outstanding school in a nurturing environment and we can build that from nothing.”

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Manchester King David aims to avoid points entry system

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 10, 2009

Admissions to Manchester’s King David schools in 2010 will depend upon synagogue affiliation, rather than attendance at services.

Governors’ chair Joshua Rowe believes the “points for observance” entry policy announced by JFS following a Court of Appeal ruling in June is “too cumbersome. We want to keep it as unintrusive and as transparent as possible. Instead of using a birth test for being Jewish or not being Jewish, we are using affiliation to a synagogue for admissions.”

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