Many parents of children at Kantor King Solomon reacted with concern after the JC published its story last week on the possibility of the school moving out of Redbridge.
Here two mothers explain why they send their children to KSS, and why it is so important to the community
Laura Marks, of Chigwell, whose daughter Chloe is in Year 8, says: “It’s a real community school. No one feels left out — everyone is respected.
“From the moment Chloe arrived it’s been nothing but a positive experience. The children from the other religions she has become friendly with are nothing but respectful. She’s never encountered any negativity at all.
“Just recently one Muslim child arranged a party on Rosh Hashanah. When she realised, she changed the date because she didn’t want to leave anyone out.
“It’s a Jewish school, but the Jews there are not necessarily religious Jews. They want to learn about their religion but the right amount. They have Jewish studies, they learn Ivrit.
“Matthew Slater, the head teacher, is amazing. He appreciates it’s a Jewish school and knows the importance of that. He’s doing a great job and he cares.
“The local community could do more to support KKS. The school has proven itself to be good, and the teachers are really dedicated. Jewish people in the area need to give it a chance.
“The results were fantastic this year. The Jewish feel is there – the caring feel.
“We couldn’t be happier.”
Abi Rapp, also of Chigwell, sends her son, Harry to KKS. He is in Year 10. She says: “Moving the school would be an absolute travesty, I’m a strong King Solomon supporter, I’m hoping that my younger son will be joining there in September next year from the Wohl Ilford Jewish Primary School.
“King Solomon has done nothing but good things for my son. I’m very, very happy with the Jewish ethos of the school.
“I do believe that having a mixed environment of people actually gives the children a better start in life. If you do grow up in a truly Jewish community, it can sometimes overshadow what is there in the outside world.
“As a community, we need King Solomon. And people in Redbridge need to support our school because if we don’t, things like this [relocation] could happen.
“Obviously, we’ve had the fallout of the local children over the past couple of years going to other schools.
“Now that we’ve got a really good headteacher and with the excellent GCSE results we’ve had this year, we’re hoping it will draw people back.”