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.


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.


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”.


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”.


National Jewish studies curriculum in pipeline

By Simon Rocker, February 12, 2009

“You are leading the Crime Scene Investigation Team to investigate the first murder in the history of humanity,” the students are told.

A class for trainee detectives, perhaps? Not quite. It’s the opening of a pilot programme about Cain and Abel for secondary schools — part of a project intended to transform Jewish studies teaching in the UK.

The United Jewish Israel Appeal and the United Synagogue’s Agency for Jewish Education are hoping to create a national Jewish studies curriculum in mainstream Orthodox schools for children from five to 18.


Religious studies row at Edgware primary

By Jay Grenby, February 12, 2009

Parents of pupils at Edgware’s Rosh Pinah Primary have been angered by the removal of chumash and Rashi learning from the school’s curriculum following a review of Jewish studies provision.

At least 40 families — representing around 10 per cent of the school’s roll — are said to be deeply concerned at the move. Some are considering withdrawing their children or withholding payment of the voluntary contribution towards Jewish studies.


Birmingham school funding assured

By Cathy Forman, February 12, 2009

Birmingham Hebrew Congregation has refuted a claim that it will be withdrawing funding from the Jewish studies department of the city’s King David Primary.

The claim was made in a letter to the Birmingham Jewish Recorder by King David governors’ chair Dr Michael Wolffe, who warned that such a move would leave insufficient funds to meet the salaries of the two Jewish studies teachers.

An editorial about the issue in the Recorder had caused further disquiet.


Orthodox college goes bust

By Simon Rocker, December 30, 2008

The country’s only training college for teachers wanting to work at strictly Orthodox day schools has been forced to close.

Donors were not able to secure enough funds to maintain MST College, which opened in Hendon, North London in 1979.

Michael Cohen, its principal, said: “We got no government or local authority funding. We survived with an income from our students which was about a third of the costs, while the rest came from supporters.


School gets better Ofsted marks

By Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, December 30, 2008

An Orthodox boys’ school placed on special measures by Ofsted in 2006 as “inadequate” is celebrating an improved inspection report.

Pardes House Primary in Finchley, North-West London is now rated as “satisfactory” by Ofsted, which noted: “The headteacher, the menahel [religious principal] and the governors have a shared will and determination to bring continuing and sustained improvement.”


Faith schools report attacked

By Leon Symons, December 11, 2008

A report calling for faith schools to stop selecting on the basis of pupils’ religion has been heavily criticised.

The Runnymede Trust’s report, Right to Divide? Faith Schools and Community Cohesion, says that “if faith schools are convinced of their relevance for society, then that should apply equally for all children”.

It questioned the commitment of faith schools to the government’s social cohesion programme and said: “Too often, there remains a resistance to learning about other faiths.”

Parents, said the report, can use faith as a means of ensuring social