Family & Education

Hasmonean may consider splitting in two

Orthodox school with separate boys and girls sites may formally divide after court ruling on gender segregation


Parents of Hasmonean High School have been told it may consider splitting into two schools as a result of a court ruling against segregation of boys and girls.

Andrew McClusky, executive headteacher of the school, said he and its chairman of governors had written to the Department for Education to discuss the result of the case.

“The judgment may well mean that we will have to go through a consultation process with stakeholders to separate into two separate single sex schools within one multi-academy trust, but this will need to be clarified,” he said.

The Court of Appeal last week ruled that Ofsted had been justified in criticising Al-Hijrah, a state-aided Islamic school in Birmingham, which educates boys and girls separately.

The judges said “complete segregation” of the sexes in a co-educational school was unlawful because it did not allow boys and girls to interact.

Hasmonean, rated outsanding by Ofsted, technically forms a single institution but has operated on separate boys and girls sites.

Governors have been planning to relocate the boys division in Hendon alongside the girls in Mill Hill, while preserving the educational separation.

Representatives of the Board of Deputies will discuss the potential fall-out from the ruling with Department for Education officials at a meeting this week.

Sheila Gewolb, Board joint vice-president, said, "We have noted with concern the Appeal Court ruling that segregation of sexes in a co-educational school is unlawful, which could have implications for some Jewish schools. We have been in discussion with the DfE since this matter came to court and will be discussing options which we hope will ensure that there will be limited – if any – disruption to Jewish schools.”






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