Family & Education

Previously inadequate Charedi school upgraded by Ofsted

Ofsted recognises progress at Beis Medrash Elyon but school still falls foul of requirements to teach about LGBT identity


Beis Medrash Elyon, in Hendon

A Charedi school that was judged inadequate on its previous two inspections has been upgraded to “requires improvement” by Ofsted.

Pupils at Beis Medrash Elyon in Hendon, an independent secondary school for just over a hundred boys, showed “high level of respect” and wore their uniform with pride, while staff provided effective pastoral support and encouraged positive attitudes to learning, inspectors noted.

Since the last inspection three years ago, the school had “improved many aspects of the curriculum”, strengthened its senior leadership team and sought external professional support in its drive for improvement.

Pupils “proudly represent their school and local community, through a range of events. These include raising funds for charities and collecting, distributing eggs and other items to families in the locality,” Ofsted reported.

They “learn about fundamental British values, other religions and cultures. Staff encourage pupils to understand about people’s rights, including those with different beliefs.”

Special needs pupils were effectively supported.

But despite the improvements, Ofsted said that in some subjects pupils did not gain the depth of understanding they should and that the school did not cover all the protected characteristics — which include LGBT identity — in relationships education.

Mark Garfield, deputy head, said, “We are delighted with improvements made over the last two years and we feel the school is on an upward trajectory. We have made tremendous progress.”

But he expressed frustration that “under the current guidelines for relationships and sex education, it is very difficult for a Charedi secondary school to get a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted”.

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