Family & Education

Nancy Reuben looks forward to new era

New head says improvement plan will be in place for next term


Nancy Reuben Primary School in Hendon is getting ready to welcome a record number of pupils next  term.

The 215 children expected in September will mark the highest roll at the independent Sephardi school, which is affiliated to the Od Yosef Hai community.

A new senior leadership has taken the helm with a mandate for change after a critical Ofsted report three years ago.

Michael Ezra, a former investment banker now working in derivatives who has become its chairman, said “the school is heading in the right direction. It’s absolutely turned a corner and it’s going to be turning more corners.”

Anthony Wolfson, who arrived as headteacher in April, said the task in his first term was to “stabilise the ship” after a period of turbulence. 

“The school hasn’t made sufficient progress over the last three years,” he said. “But we have laid the foundations ready for September. There will be a new school improvement plan.”

Jeremy Richards, the new head of Jewish studies held that role previously at Beit Shvidler and Kerem, and joined this spring. Shelley Cohen from Sacks Morasha will be deputy head next term.

Mr Wolfson said he had “never before been as well supported by a governing body in 15 years as a headteacher. They are very professional and strategically driven.”

The school, which is backed by the Reuben Foundation, takes children from two and its fees of just over £4,000 a year are considerably lower than many private schools.

In 2014, Ofsted found that, despite significantly above average results in English and maths, pupils made inconsistent progress and the school was rated as requiring improvement—the lowest but one inspection grade. Inspectors are due back soon.

Mr Ezra said the school has “done an excellent job in repairing and healing some of the differences that had been apparent.”

Mr Wolfson has taught across a range of Orthodox schools, previously heading the independent Tashbar School in Edgware and before that Rosh Pinah and Avigdor Hirsch Torah Temimah primary schools.

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