Family & Education

Second Charedi school criticised by Ofsted in a week for refusing to discussing same-sex relations

Inspectorate says Beis Medrash Elyon boys' school is not meeting equality requirements


A second Charedi secondary school in less than a week has been pulled up by Ofsted for refusing to discuss same-sex relations with pupils.

Ofsted said the independent Beis Medrash Elyon in West Hendon, which teaches boys from 11 to 15, had made improvements since being graded inadequate last summer.

But after a follow-up visit, the inspectorate reported that leaders “made it clear that the school’s aims and ethos will not support the inclusion of issues such as same-sex orientation”.

They had also requested that the inspector did not raise the matter with pupils.

Earlier this week, Shiras Devorah in Woodside Park, a new independent secondary school for Strictly Orthodox girls which opened only last autumn, was rated inadequate for various shortcomings ,including its refusal to “permit reference” to LGBT issues.

Both schools have the same proprietor, Akiva Adler.

Ofsted noted improvements at Elyon in careers advice, information technology and teaching about other faiths.

“There is now a programme in place for pupils to learn about other cultures and religions,” the inspector said.” Pupils said that they learn about other faiths, including Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.”

But it found insufficient detail in the curriculum policy about art and music at the school.

Independent schools found to have fallen short of official standards are required to submit an action plan for improvement to the Department for Education, but Elyon's plan was rejected in March.

The DfE last week published updated guidelines for independent schools which said that schools should teach respect for LGBT people at an “appropriate” age.


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