JFS gets ‘Good’ rating one year after shock downgrade

The school was rated ‘Inadequate’ last year after an inspection found safeguarding failings


JFS has jumped two places from “Inadequate” to “Good” in its latest Ofsted inspection, the JC understands.

It follows the school’s shock downgrade last year, when inspectors reported “deep-rooted and widespread failings in the school’s safeguarding culture”.

The largest Jewish secondary school in Europe was put into special measures as a result of the report, but has now jumped two places in the Ofsted ranking system, bypassing the “Requires Improvement” stage and coming out of special measures.

JFS had been rated “Outstanding” following inspections in 2006 and 2009, but it was downgraded to “Requires Improvement” in 2014.

In November 2016, another inspection resulted in the school being rated “Good”, but in April 2021, inspectors slapped the institution with a rating of “Inadequate” - the lowest on the Ofsted scale.

The school was deemed "Inadequate" in the categories of behaviour and attitudes, personal development and leadership and management.

Inspectors warned that the school’s safeguarding arrangements were not effective, and school leaders “failed to create a culture of openness and mutual respect”.

The report said that many students reported "sexual bullying, including via social media”, and it was also found that "many pupils" - including victims of harmful sexual behaviour - did not feel confident reporting safeguarding concerns.

Additionally, it was found that school leaders did not “always take appropriate action to safeguard victims and challenge and support alleged perpetrators.”

The school’s personal, social health and economic and relationships and sex curriculum were “not fit for purpose” and were deemed to not provide pupils with the knowledge they need.

Students were “not adequately prepared for life in modern Britain” and “do not learn enough about LGBT issues”, the report said, which had also been flagged as an area of concern in 2016.

After a “monitoring visit” in November 2021, it was found that leaders at JFS were taking "effective action" towards lifting the school out of special measures.

The visit was conducted before newly appointed headteacher David Moody took up his post, but it found that interim heads Anna Joseph and Paul Ramsey had created “a greater sense of stability” after “a period of substantial change and some turbulence in leadership”.

Steps had been taken to improve safeguarding policy and practice with an increase in designated safeguarding leaders and more “suitably qualified” staff to respond to concerns.

The full report will not be released publicly for around six weeks, with a spokesperson for Ofsted telling the JC: "I can confirm Ofsted recently inspected JFS and the report will be published in due course.”

JFS has been contacted for comment.

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