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JCoSS to take extra pupils for 2018 academic year

Cross-communal school responds to record number of applications

    JCoSS has confirmed it will open a bulge class for new entrants next September for a second year running, raising its intake to 210 from 180 in 2016.

    Patrick Moriarty, headteacher of the cross-communal secondary in East Barnet, said the decision had been taken in the wake of “another record number of applications this year and, in particular, a very high number of first choice applications in proportion to the number of places we had to offer”.

    He hoped the 30 additional places would “ go some way to help anxious families feel a little less concerned”. The first round of offers are due to be made by schools to parents in March.  

    The school has also launched a consultation with parents over proposals to do away with priority for children from feeder schools for entry in September 2019.

    Originally, it guaranteed at least 15 places apiece to children of pluralist or Progressive schools Akiva, Clore Tikva and Clore Shalom. But this dropped to 10 and then five per school this autumn.

    In the meantime, two cross-communal primary schools have opened in north-west London - Eden and Alma. Children from Eden are due to start secondary school next year and those from Alma two years later.

    In a letter to parents, Mr Moriarty wrote that “to deny Eden and Alma feeder status in the long term would be unfair on their children. But to add further feeder places would disadvantage children from other schools."

    The increase in sibling applicants had necessitated finding other ways to "keep places aviailable to the widest range of applicants," he said.

    The proposed new entry policy would reserve 18 places for Jewish children who live closest to the school.

    Meanwhile, Mr Moriarty said he "could not be more delighted" after the school received an outstanding grade for Jewish studies this week from the Board of Deputies-run inspection service Pikuach.

    Inspectors were impressed by the behaviour of students and found “a culture of kindness that permeates the school".

    Jewish education enjoyed "a very high and respected profile within the school, and learning activities provide fully for the needs of all learners," the inspectoin report stated. "Teaching is outstanding and, together with a rich Jewish curriculum, contributes to outstanding learning and achievement.  Teachers consistently demonstrate excellent subject knowledge and an understanding of the subjects they teach.”

    Staff, governors and students "strive consistently for excellence," Pikuach said.

     

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