Plans by Borehamwood parents to send their children on a cross-London journey to Ilford Jewish Primary School have been abandoned after a number secured late places at Jewish schools closer to home.
Frustrated at their failure to obtain offers from local Jewish schools, two dozen parents attended a meeting at Borehamwood Synagogue in May. They heard IJPS head Roz Levin and governor Howard Kemp extol the virtues of the Ilford school, which had a number of vacancies for the new academic year.
Despite coming away impressed from visits to IJPS, the travelling time of an hour each way had been a disincentive. "Sadly, they found the journey just too long for some of the very young children," Mrs Levin said.
The Borehamwood meeting was organised by Eddie Hammerman, who found out only in July that his four-year-old son Oz had been offered a place at Wolfson Hillel Primary in Southgate. Mr Hammerson argued that the "totally unnecessary" stress he and his wife Ronit suffered over the school place search could have been avoided if a central organisation had compiled a proper database.
"This would have shown the exact number of children who are applying for places and the exact number of places available. At the moment, nobody has a clue." He said there had been positive moves since the original story was published in the JC. However, a number of parents who joined his Facebook group to swap information were still searching for nursery places both for this academic year and for September 2011.
More school places could become available in Herts next year, following the announcement by Yavneh College in Borehamwood of plans to open a primary section as soon as possible. J-PESH (Jewish Primary Education in South Hertfordshire) is exploring alternative options, which may also include nursery provision.