Equality watchdog in JFS fight

Britain’s equality watchdog has entered the legal battle over the admissions policy of Jewish schools.

The Supreme Court this week granted the Equalities and Human Rights Commission the right to be an intervener in the forthcoming appeal case, which will enable it to make submissions to the court.

JFS, the country’s largest Jewish school, is trying to reverse a decision by the Court of Appeal in June that it is unlawful to offer places on the basis of whether a child’s parent is Jewish.

The case was originally brought on behalf of a boy who was rejected by the school in 2007 because his mother’s non-Orthodox conversion was not recognised by the Chief Rabbi.

A spokesman for the commission explained: “The Supreme Court’s judgment in this case may have wider implications for how the Race Relations Act is applied. The Commission wants to make sure it has the opportunity to give its expert opinion on the interpretation of the Race Relations Act to ensure that rights are retained for the benefit of all protected groups.”

The Supreme Court, which will begin hearing the appeal in two weeks, has also accepted the Board of Deputies’ application to intervene.

    Last updated: 4:20pm, October 8 2009