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Ofsted stymied by head's absence

Talmud Torah D'Chasidei Gur in Stamford Hill had more pupils than its official maximum, inspectors found

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Ofsted says it was unable to judge whether a Chasidic boys’ school had made progress because the headteacher was absent on the day of inspection and other staff unable to provide evidence.

Inspectors turned up at the independent Talmud Torah D’Chasidei Gur in Stamford Hill in March - which was ranked inadequate in 2019 - with only half an hour’s warning.

“The headteacher was absent on the day of this inspection and no other members of staff were able to provide details on the secular curriculum or the progress made in addressing the weaknesses identified at the previous inspection,” the inspectorate reported.

The school was in breach of its registration agreement - for 140 boys aged from three to seven - because it had 231 pupils with some going up to the age of 11.

In the last inspection, Ofsted said teachers did not have skills to teach phonics and pupils confused English with Yiddish. Pupils lacked enough opportunities to learn about Britain and other cultures and did not learn about the roles of women.

Leaders this time “could not provide any curriculum plans to show how the school promotes fundamental British values,” Ofsted reported.

While they were aware of the government’s new relationships and sex education guidance, they did not have plans to show how they would follow it.

Trustees from the body which owns the school were unavailable, although inspectors spoke to the school manager and an outside adviser who represented the head and proprietors, Ofsted said.

On the plus side, the safeguarding policy was found suitable, the school was “calm” and pupils understood the behaviour code.

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