Family & Education

Menorah Foundation head to leave on Friday

Karen Kent is pursuing her career in Ofsted


The headteacher of Menorah Foundation School in Edgware for the past five years, Karen Kent, is leaving next Friday.

Parents of the Orthodox primary were told at the end of last week that she will be pursuing a career with Ofsted.

Adam Lobatto, chairman of governors, said that Mrs Kent had “overseen a crucial phase” in its growth, forming “many strong relationships both inside and outside the school”.

She had been a “popular head with the pupils” and had “transformed her love for learning to them throughout all levels in the school”.

He commended her in particular for her “dedication and tenacity” in facing the challenges brought by Covid and the economic climate.

Meanwhile, governors have been pursuing plans to return to one-form entry in September next year.

The school’s application to reduce intake this autumn was rejected last year by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator. It  has since made the case for cutting the number of places in reception from 50 to 30 in 2024 in a recently held consultation exercise.

Menorah Foundation had expanded to two forms a decade ago and by September 2019 had two classes for every year.

But over the past few years, it has experienced a decline in applications, leading to a cut in reception places from 60 to 50.

“However the school has started to see a trend of further reductions in applications — evidenced by the current year-1 cohort of 41,” parents were told in the consultation document.

Warning of a “financially unsustainable situation”, governors said the causes of the drop in numbers included “a reduced birth rate within the community, an increased number of schools places now available, the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the current inflationary environment causing extreme financial pressure on families.”

Barnet Council said it was “mindful of the challenges faced by some primary schools in the borough, as a result of falling rolls… Whilst the proposed reduction in places at Menorah Foundation may lead to some localised pressure for the type of Jewish places provided by MFS, we would support the school’s endeavours to make the best use of their resources.”

The school has recently been allocated money to renovate as part of the government’s Schools Rebuilding Programme.

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