Mother's relief after school appeal victory


A mother has finally won her battle to get her son into a Jewish secondary school in London after convincing an appeal panel of his case.

The 11-year-old boy had started at a non-Jewish comprehensive last week where he was one of a tiny minority of Jewish pupils.

But now he will join the school of his parents' choice after winning an appeal which was unusually held after the start of the new school year.

The boy had previously attended a non-Jewish primary school.

"I'm grateful," said the mother, from Finchley.

"It's been a traumatic few months. The stress has had an adverse effect on my life."

The school had reported that it was full at the start of term, as had the other state-aided Jewish secondary schools in north-west London.

Last week the JC reported that at least seven Jewish children were being kept at home by their parents because they did not want them to go to a non-Jewish school where there would be few fellow Jewish pupils.

The mother was critical of a system which saw her son rejected by three Jewish schools in March.

"To be put through this is not right," she said.

"It is not acceptable when you come from a traditional Jewish family. He's been at synagogue every Shabbat," she said.

"There should be more emphasis in the admissions system on the Jewish practice of the child."

Jewish schools give priority to applicants who can present a "certificate of religious practice" but the bar has been set low and families generally only have to attend synagogue a few times in the year before application to qualify.

What has upset a number of parents this year is that their children have gone to a Jewish primary school but still ended up without a place at any of the Jewish secondaries they applied to.

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