Family & Education

Charedi school which did not teach about homophobic bullying still earns good Ofsted

Beis Yaakov in Stamford Hill achieved a good report although it did not meet every independent school standard


A Charedi girls’ primary school in Stamford Hill has won a good rating from Ofsted despite inspectors noting it did not teach about homophobic bullying.

The independent Beis Yaakov Girls School was graded good in all categories except leadership and management, which inspectors said required improvement as girls were not able to learn about “the range of different families in modern Britain”.

As a result, Ofsted said, the school “does not meet all the independent school standards”.

Although pupils did not learn about homophobic bullying, leaders were clear “about how they would deal with homophobic bullying should it arise”.

The inspection is significant because the school was still able to attain a good grade even though it did not teach about LGBT people.

A number of other Charedi primary schools in recent months have been marked down by Ofsted over the LGBT issue  – despite the view of Pajes, the Jewish Leadership Council’s schools network, and others that the inspection service is going beyond government guidelines in expecting primary schools to mention families with same-sex parents.

Beis Yaakov girls was praised for its reading standards and well-planned secular lessons.

Another Stamford Hill girls’ school, Beis Ruchel d’Satmar, was again found to be falling short of independent school standards because it did not address LGBT-related issues.

Returning for a fifth visit since the school was judged inadequate four years ago, Ofsted said it now complied with safeguarding and health and safety requirements.

But although it was now promoting respect and tolerance for those of other faiths and beliefs, it did not teach about all the “protected characteristics” under equality law  (which include sexual orientation and gender reassignment).

While the school is registered to take only 200 girls from five to 11, it has four times as many pupils, with 235 in its unregistered early years’ section.

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