Strictly Orthodox London school makes 'remarkable' transformation from inadequate to good

Ofsted reports significant improvements at Beth Jacob Girls' Grammar


A London strictly Orthodox girls’ school has bounced back from an inadequate Ofsted rating two years ago to being classified as good in every area.

Standards at the independent Beth Jacob Grammar School for Girls in Hendon, which is chaired by one of the Charedi community’s major benefactors, Benzion Freshwater, had improved “remarkably”, Ofsted said.

Headteacher Michele Gluck and her staff had raised aspirations and broadened the curriculum to make it more relevant to student interests.

The proportion of girls achieving GCSEs in English, maths and science was “well above national averages”, Ofsted reported. Higher levels of attainment by the most able pupils in these subjects was also above average.

Some girls in year eight start GCSE art and home economics and some begin A/S level Hebrew in year 11. “The small number of year 12 students in 2018 who took A-levels within one year also achieved well in a wide range of subjects, including English, mathematics, science, history and photography,” Ofsted reported.

The inspection service also found that “mutual respect and tolerance for all people, irrespective of their backgrounds, are tangible features of the school’s ethos. These are also a key feature threaded through the wider curriculum, including the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.” Protected characteristics include people of same-sex orientation.

But pupils did not have enough opportunity to “interact” with people from a non-Jewish background.

Inspectors found Beth Jacob cultivated a love of reading and its wide range of artistic activities helped girls to grow spiritually, highlighting an “uplifting” recitation of psalms. 


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