Jewish primary school heads have voiced dismay that their pupils are not been given priority at JFS.
Vivienne Orloff, head of the Michael Sobell Sinai School, a United Synagogue primary which lies next door to JFS in Kenton, said it was “ridiculous” that children from Jewish primaries did not get preference. “It’s heartbreaking when you have the school on your doorstep. We want all our children to continue their education and what’s important is that the parents want them to.”
The House of Lords has agreed to hear an appeal from JFS against the Court of Appeal ruling that its admissions policy is unlawful.
When the case is heard, it will come before the new Supreme Court which is replacing the Lords.
Appeal judges ruled at the end of June that Jewish schools cannot admit children on the basis of parental Jewish descent since that contravened the Race Relations. As a result, Jewish schools are having to revise entry policies for next year by basing them on the family’s religious observance.
A Nasa astronaut made a happy landing in Kenton where his tales of space travel enthralled the 650 pupils at the Sobell Sinai Primary.
Greg Chamitoff served a six-month tour of duty on the International Space Station last year, working alongside two Russians. The 46-year-old Texan is linked to Sinai through his cousin Karen Diamond, whose two children are pupils.
Mrs Diamond and her husband Julian helped to organise this week’s visit, having previously arranged a live satellite link-up between pupils and Mr Chamitoff during his space mission in September.
The Court of Appeal’s ruling that it is unlawful to admit children on the basis of a parent’s Jewish status “has thrown our admissions policy into chaos”, according to Jonathan Arkush, senior Vice-President of the Board of Deputies.
He told a meeting for Jewish schools on Wednesday night that there will be a “flood of admissions appeals”.
With the court order on how the judgment will apply not due out until today, schools have been left in the dark over when they will have to introduce new rules and how those places already allocated for this September will be affected.