Jeremy Dunford faced his first major decision as head of Leeds’ Brodetsky Jewish Primary just two days into the job when heavy snow forced the school’s closure on Tuesday.
“It was a difficult decision and an interesting way to start my time at Brodetsky,” said Mr Dunford, 42. “We attempted to stay open but very few pupils came in and all but one of the senior members of staff were unable to get in.
“Plans have been adjusted now to allow for easier management of the site and routes into school which should allow it to stay open in future when there is snowfall.”
A non-Jew, Mr Dunford said the opportuntity to work in the Jewish community was part of the attraction. He was eager to acquire “a full understanding of Orthodox Judaism and the implications for day-to-day and school life.”
Since his first contact with Brodetsky in October, he had expanded his “knowledge base extensively through the school community”.
His plans for the 300-pupil Brodetsky and Deborah Taylor nursery include developing a more creative curriculum and use of the site beyond the school day. He also plans to build on the school’s strong links with King David High in Manchester.
Governors’ chair Alan Dunwell ex-pressed delight at having “attracted a candidate of Mr Dunford’s calibre. I am confident he will strive to take the school forward.”
For his first term at Brodetsky, Mr Dunford will retain his headship of Deighton Gates Primary in Wetherby. During his time there he became chair of the Elmet Partnership of 22 schools. He is an accredited school improvement partner and is currently acting in this role for five Wakefield schools.
Outgoing head Simon Camby left Brodetsky at the end of last term after two years in the post to pursue a non-teaching role as an educational consultant.