Family & Education

Ofsted applauds changes at Menorah Grammar

Inspectors note 'transformation' of building previously found in 'appallingly unhygienic state'


Ofsted has found significant improvement at an Orthodox boys’ grammar school whose building was judged to be in an “appallingly unhygienic state” just over a year ago.

The independent Menorah Grammar School in Edgware was rated as inadequate in all categories when inspectors visited in 2020.

But after a return visit earlier a few weeks ago, the inspection service reported that “concerted action between leaders and proprietors has brought about the rapid change needed to get the school back on an even keel”. Whereas last year staff were struggling to manage pupil behaviour — and pupils did not take responsibility for it — Ofsted noted that leaders had implemented appropriate change with a “wholesale transformation of the building”.

Pupils were treating the premises with respect and records showed a “marked decline” in incidents of poor behaviour since September.

At the previous inspection, “toilets were filthy and shower facilities were used as a storeroom. Water was scalding hot and leaders’ monitoring of health and safety issues related to the premises was weak”.

Menorah’s proprietors had since “invested heavily on improving the fabric of the building, including the spaces for pupils to learn in. The site has been completely refurbished and is now very clean. All the corridors and rooms are well decorated, with suitable natural lighting and ventilation. Toilets and shower facilities are spotlessly clean and provide water at the appropriate temperature.”

A courtyard had been converted into four classrooms, enabling the school to safely educate up to 350 pupils.

A new senior leadership team had been recruited since the last inspection. For almost a year, headteacher Rachel Hanison had “used her knowledge of the independent school standards to improve the school” and it now met all the standards inspected on the latest visit.

After the failings in safety checks and vetting of staff which were identified last time, a new director of compliance maintained “sharp oversight” of health and safety.

Although pupils had the opportunity to learn about other faiths and cultures, Ofsted said they were not receiving sufficient insight into “other ways of life”.




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