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Ofsted swoops on more Jewish schools

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Following last week's shock inspection report downgrading JFS from an outstanding school to one requiring improvement, three more state-aided Jewish schools have been the subject of unannounced visits from Ofsted.

On Tuesday, inspectors swooped on Beis Yaakov, a strictly Orthodox girls high school in Salford. They also arrived on Wednesday to examine Bnois Jerusalem, an independent strictly Orthodox girls school in Hackney.

This followed a two-day visit from inspectors to the Chasidic Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls High School in Hackney, North London last week.

Yesodey Hatorah is currently rated outstanding but has not been inspected since 2006.

Rabbi Avraham Pinter, principal of the school, said: "It is going crazy." He added: "There is another agenda here. I don't know what it is, it seems sinister to me."

There are only 10 state-aided Jewish secondary schools in the country.

Ofsted has announced its intention to carry out 40 spot inspections of state schools this month, following allegations of Islamist infiltration into schools in Birmingham earlier this year. It added that it was "not systematically targeting Jewish state-aided faith schools".

Unannounced inspections were carried out, it said, when "there are concerns about rapidly declining standards; safeguarding, including a decline in the standards of pupils' behaviour and the ability of staff to maintain discipline; standards of leadership or governance; or the breadth and balance of the curriculum".

Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw said he was considering "more routine, no-notice inspections as part of our wider education reforms".

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