Family & Education

Independent Jewish Day School downgraded from 'outstanding' to 'requires improvement'

It has become harder to remain in Ofsted's top division


The Independent Jewish Day School in Hendon is the latest Jewish school to lose its outstanding crown after receiving its first full inspection from Ofsted in 16 years.

The Orthodox primary, which became an academy in 2012, was demoted to “requires improvement” after inspectors identified planning weaknesses in some subjects.

 Michael Paluch, chairman of IJDS governors, said, “We are of course disappointed in the overall grade and we are fully committed to addressing the areas of concern raised in the report. We are confident we can make the required improvements.”

 But he noted “many positives that we are proud of, not least the most important aspect, that children at the Independent Jewish Day School are happy and safe.”

 In addition, he said, “the report noted that the school works hard to support pupils’ emotional well-being and that ‘staff and governors have high expectations and want students to achieve.’”

 Outstanding schools had been exempt from full inspections for several years until 2020. But a new inspection framework has also made it harder to achieve the top grade, with over 80 per cent of previously outstanding schools which were inspected last year failing to retain their ranking.

 IJDS pupils “very much enjoy being part of this friendly and welcoming school", “feel valued and well cared for” ,and are “keen to learn and want to do well.” They showed kindness to each other and “playground buddies” looked out “for those who might need cheering up,” Ofsted said.

 Pupils achieved well in reading and developed “secure and detailed mathematical knowledge”, Ofsted reported. 

 But weaknesses in planning some other subjects led to “inconsistencies in how things are done. For example, sometimes, pupils are introduced to too many concepts at once. Furthermore, this lack of clarity in curriculum thinking sometimes leads to pupils doing work which does not build on their previous learning.”

 Wolfson Hillel and Gesher were the only Jewish schools to keep their outstanding status last year after inspections resumed following suspension during the pandemic.  


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