Family & Education

Many London Jewish primaries hit by new school closure plan

Pupils set to remain home for two more weeks with government's latest measures to combat Coviod-19


Many Jewish primary schools are likely to remain shut to most pupils for at least two weeks under new measures announced by the government on Wednesday. 

Primary children were due to return to school for the start of the spring term on Monday. 

But schools in areas of high rates of infection will again have to rely on remote learning except for vulnerable children or those of key workers. 

They include the London boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Enfield and Redbridge and Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, where many Jewish schools are situated, although Hackney is not on the high-rate list published by the Department for Education. 

In Barnet, the borough with the largest Jewish population, the number of people testing positive for coronavirus has climbed to 782 per 100,000. 

Kirsten Jowett, chief executive of the Jewish Community Academy Trust, which includes Rimon and Sacks Morasha in Barnet, Wolfson Hillel in Enfield and Hertsmere Jewish Primary School in Hertsmere, said, "All JCAT schools are moving to remote learning from next week as advised by the govt until January 18. We will be opening for vulnerable children and children of critical workers on all sites."

Juliette Lipshaw, headteacher of Sinai in Brent, told parents, “Whilst this is not the start of the spring term I had hoped for we know that it is the safest start for our pupils and staff. Sinai will once again offer a full remote learning programme for every child that is both engaging and rewarding."

The school will offer "daily live and pre-recorded lessons in maths, English, Jewish studies plus one non-core subject per day. There will also be live tefillah, daily meets with class teachers, Shabbat oneg as well as one-to-one provision."

Sinia would continue to run daily provision on site for children of critical workers.

The return to secondary school has been delayed a week with students in exam years now due to go back on January 11 and other years the following week. 

In the meantime, secondary schools will be expected to prepare themselves for mass testing of staff and pupils during the course of next week. 


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