London Charedi school appeals to Education Secretary over Ofsted rating

Argument focuses on differences over 'approach to protected characteristics'


A Chasidic girls’ primary school in Stamford Hill has appealed to Education Secretary Damian Hinds to intervene after inspectors said it was still falling short of independent school standards.

Although Ofsted has recognised Beis Ruchel d’Satmar has improved since being rated inadequate, the inspection service has withheld full approval.

The school is due to go to a tribunal next month to contest a Department for Education order restricting the intake of pupils.

A recent follow-up inspection confirmed that leaders of the school have “worked effectively to enhance pupils’  spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, especially in relation to the fundamental British values of democracy and the rule of law”.

They promoted greater understanding and respect for people with some of the “protected characteristics” under equality law, such as disability, age and race.

But Ofsted reported that leaders maintained that any reference to the protected characteristics relating to religions and beliefs, sexual orientation and gender reassignment was a red line “that will never be crossed”.

Inspectors added there was “no evidence” to suggest the school was undermining fundamental British values or discriminating against pupils. 

A school spokesman said: “We are proud of the changes our school has made in a very short space of time. We have addressed many of the points raised in last year’s report and the new report recognises our improvements. 

“Despite the progress we have made, we are prevented from meeting all the Independent School Standards due to our values and approach to protected characteristics. We would urge the Secretary of State to remove us from the tribunal process while these points are addressed at a communal level.”

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