Hasmonean High School for Boys is proposing to house its entire September entry classes in Portakabins on the site of its sister girls’ school to cope with extra demand for places.
Parents have been told that there is a waiting list of 50 for autumn but “there is simply not the space” to accommodate them on the boys’ school site in Hendon.
For several years, the boys’ school has taken well above its official entry maximum of 75 for year 7 and last September admitted more than 120. To fit them in, it moved some administration over to the girls’ site in Mill Hill and created additional classrooms.
School leaders said a range of options to enable it to run bulge classes had been explored, including a look at “various sites”.
The Department for Education had confirmed that “we would be able to accommodate all students on our waiting list if we located all 150 year-7s in porta cabins at the Girls' School,” they said.
“We would intend to do this by locating them in a separate area to enable them to have educational space of their own.”
Governors and trustees would be liaising with the school’s rabbinic authorities “about the detail of our plans and will be seeking their approval. We would need to educate the whole year group off-site until they enter year 8, by which time they would be educated back at the main Boys' School.”
School leaders told parents, “While we cannot yet guarantee that we will be able to take in all of the year-7s, we are very much hoping to do so.”
In parallel, a planning application is to be submitted to Barnet Council to redevelop the site of the neighbouring North Hendon Synagogue to create 13 additional classrooms beside a shul “which we hope to be ready by December 2025”.
A plan, approved by Barnet council a few years ago, to build a new school for the boys next to the girls' site was scuppered by the Mayor of London’s Office because of concerns about using green belt land.