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Clore Shalom school will not wait for change

    A Jewish primary school is to press ahead with controversial changes to its admissions policy which will leave several children in its nursery without a place in reception next year.

    The cross-communal Clore Shalom primary, in Hertfordshire, was forced to amend its entry rules after a complaint was upheld against it by the Office of the School Adjudicator in August.

    But the school was called to a meeting with the Department for Education on Tuesday after protests from parents of nursery children.

    After the meeting, Clore Shalom chairman of governors Irene Blaston and vice-chairman Simon Ezequiel said that the DfE and Hertfordshire Council were satisfied the school had “acted correctly” in revising its admissions policy for 2013.

    The school had been told by the OSA that it could no longer use attendance in the nursery or family synagogue membership to give priority for reception places.

    This meant five out of 30 nursery children would lose their priority for places in reception next autumn.

    The governors said: “We would now like to close this difficult chapter and focus on the business of educating our children.”

    But according to the OSA, the school had until next April to amend its policy. If Clore Shalom had waited until spring, its new policy would not have applied until September 2014, thus sparing the nursery children affected this year.

    The DfE confirmed that the school had chosen to apply the policy immediately: “The decision to implement admissions policy in this way was down to the governing body of Clore Shalom and we only have limited powers to intervene.”

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