One of Stamford Hill’s largest Chasidic schools has been branded inadequate for the second time in three years with inspectors critical of its restricted curriculum.
The independent, Satmar-run Talmud Torah Yetev Lev, which has 944 boys aged from two to 12 on its roll, did not teach arts and creative subjects or practical science, Ofsted reported.
Pupils had “only basic skills in English and mathematics”, while lack of attention to developing pupils’ spoken English is a barrier to learning and progress” for many of them.
Inspectors commented: “Although the amount of time for the secular subjects has increased since the previous inspection, it is still insufficient to teach the range of subjects and ensure pupils’ progress.”
While some aspects of history, geography and creative subjects had been integrated into Jewish studies, “this does not provide sufficient breadth and depth of learning in these subjects”.
They found a happy, secure atmosphere at the school where pupils were courteous and polite and made good progress in religious studies.
But pupils lacked “an appreciation of other cultures” and inspectors were not allowed by the school’s leadership “to discuss with pupils their attitudes towards those groups of potentially vulnerable people that are protected by law”. (People of same-sex orientation, for example, are protected by equality law.)
On the Charedi spectrum, the Satmar are one of the most religiously conservative groups.