Family & Education

Conservatives promise to revive out of school register plan

Manifesto also pledges lifting of faith cap on free school entry


The Conservatives have included a commitment to remove restrictions on entry to faith free schools as part of their election manifesto.

The party has also pledged to revive the planned registration of children who are taught in out-of-school settings — an idea which has previously proved deeply unpopular with parts of the Charedi community.

Lifting the so-called faith cap would allow free schools to choose all of their upils on the basis of their religion — rather than the 50 per cent they are currently limited to.

According to the manifesto, the move would encourage faith schools to expand.

The proposed register of children — who are home-schooled or attend educational settings in institutions such as yeshivot which are not defined as schools — would form part of a drive to improve school attendance, which the manifesto says has been made “more difficult” with Covid.

The register scheme was originally included in a Bill ditched two years ago — but then reintroduced in a Private Members Bill and backed by the government. Had the election not intervened, the Bill looked set to pass into law.

But it was bitterly opposed by parts of the Charedi community who saw it as a first step towards bringing yeshivot under state scrutiny.

Around 1,500 boys from the age of 13 to 16 are thought to be educated in yeshivot in Stamford Hill which offer little or no secular education.

Proposals, however, to redefine schools to include institutions such as yeshivot that were tabled by the last government have not been resurrected in the manifesto.

The Liberal Democrats have also declared support for a register in their manifesto.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive