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.


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.


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.


Ofsted report analyses faith teaching

By Marcus Dysch, October 29, 2009

Independent faith schools must work harder to ensure textbooks used to teach about other faiths are accurate and unbiased, according to an Ofsted report.

Inspectors visited 51 private faith schools and found that some teaching materials had incorrect information about other religions.

The Board of Deputies welcomed the report, saying it gave a “strong endorsement” of the general work of faith schools and the “real and positive efforts to address issues of citizenship and cohesion”.


Yavneh pupils to make their mark at Eton

By Leon Symons, October 29, 2009

A group of pupils from Yavneh College in Borehamwood will be visiting Eton College next week for the first of what the school hopes will be regular exchanges.

The group, mainly from year-10 because the youngest Eton pupils are 13, will be taking part in a faith forum at the famous public school. They will be telling pupils from other faith schools about Judaism, what it means to be Jewish and what life is like in a Jewish school.


School's fury on funding

By Robyn Rosen, October 22, 2009

Edgware Jewish Primary chiefs are enraged with the government over the withdrawal of critical funding to progress its transition from a private to state school.

Headteacher Sara Keen confronted Schools Secretary Ed Balls at a conference for faith schools last week to demand answers.

Last December, the school applied to the Department of Children, Schools and Families for capital funding towards a new building. This was through the £327 million Standards and Diversity Fund, of which £138 million was earmarked for independent schools seeking aided status.


New girls' primary planned for north London

By Robyn Rosen, October 22, 2009

Strictly Orthodox parents who have been unable to find acceptable school places for their children have joined forces to create a new religious primary school for girls in north London.

Over 40 people attended a meeting last week to discuss plans for the Bnos Beis Yaakov School. Educational phil-anthropist Benjamin Perl will be the patron and honorary president and St John’s Wood Synagogue leader Richard Harounoff will chair the project.

The committee is searching for premises, preferably in Golders Green, Hendon or Finchley, and hope to open next September.


Faith schools criticised for Middle East bias

By Jessica Elgot, October 22, 2009

Muslim schools are likely to use “inflammatory language” and bias when teaching pupils about the Middle East, an Ofsted report has found.

Inspectors visited 51 private faith schools to investigate the spiritual and cultural lessons that the schools provided. They found some schools displayed posters in favour of a certain religious or political group.

They also found that many of the schools used teaching materials which had incorrect information about other religions.


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.


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.