Regulator rules King David High School must change admissions policy


King David High School in Manchester has become the latest Jewish school to be ordered to change its admissions policy.

The Office of Schools Adjudicator decided on Monday that admissions arrangements for September 2014 and 2015 “do not conform with the requirements,” and must be revised “as quickly as possible”.

It was found that the school’s use of synagogue membership as a criterion when places are oversubscribed “breach the Equality Act by amounting to discrimination on the basis of race”.

The OSA stated: “Membership of a synagogue is the only way specified in the arrangements for gaining priority under the faith-based oversubscription criteria.”

Since the OSA has a rule that “Jewish schools cannot base their oversubscription criteria on whether a child is halachically Jewish,” the adjudicator ruled against the school.

However, the ruling also notes that KDHS “said it would be happy to amend its criteria so that it is based on attendance at rather than membership of a synagogue,” which the OSA wrote was acceptable.

The OSA made its decision following a complaint from the Fair Admissions Campaign, a body linked to the Accord lobby group, chaired by Reform Rabbi Jonathan Romain, which believes entry to faith schools should be open to all, regardless of faith.

The decision follows similar rulings which have affected Jewish Community Secondary School (JCoss), Simon Marks Jewish Primary School and Wolfson Hillel Primary School, among others.

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