School gets shock: it needs £90,000

Strictly Orthodox schools in Greater Manchester are fearing chaos as the second largest Charedi school is threatened with closure following a £90,000 electrics bill.

The Bnos Yisroel School for girls in Salford, which has over 600 pupils, may be forced to close unless it is able to find £90,000 to completely rewire its Salford premises. A major fundraising campaign began on Sunday after the school's insurance company refused to renew its policy.

Despite half the school being rebuilt three years ago, the wiring in its older building, a former council-run school, must be brought in line with the latest electrical regulations.

Without insurance the entire campus will not be able to reopen in September.

The combined private nursery, primary and secondary schools' education was given the second highest rating by Ofsted and top rating for behaviour in its last inspection. Bnos Yisroel is expecting 630 pupils after the summer holidays, only a fraction behind the 650 attending Manchester's largest single Charedi school, the Yesoiday Hatorah Primary.

The school's administrator, Aharon Dahan, said the local community had raised £40,000 so far, enough for electrical engineers to begin work this week. But a further £14,000 is needed to cover a first phase of works over the summer holidays, so that the school can regain its insurance.

He said: "Manchester's community is growing at such a rapid rate that the schools cannot handle the number of kids at present, so any one of them closing would be a disaster. Part of the wiring goes back to the 1900s, and it was not updated by the school that previously ran our building. Cloth-covered asbestos wires were found. With that type of thing we had no choice."

    Last updated: 4:21pm, August 11 2011