Ofsted downgrades Jewish school for failing new Trojan horse rules

A substantial-profile Jewish college has fallen foul of government rules on British values and tolerance launched in the wake of the Trojan horse affair in Birmingham, raising fears between the neighborhood that Jewish schools are currently being harshly taken care of.

The Beis Yaakov secondary school for ladies in Salford is the most current faith college to be punished by Ofsted inspectors for failing new guidelines intended to tackle allegations of Islamic influence in Birmingham. Following a no-observe inspection, Ofsted downgraded the orthodox Jewish academy from very good to inadequate – its lowest rating – and positioned the college into particular measures.

In accordance to the Ofsted inspection report, students at the school “are potentially at threat because college procedures are too lax and fall far brief of statutory requirements”.

The Salford college was a single of 3 orthodox Jewish schools provided snap inspections by Ofsted final month, with all three getting downgraded and criticised by inspectors, with the inspections triggering protests by the Nationwide Association of Orthodox Jewish Colleges.

The management of Beis Yaakov manufactured a formal complaint to Ofsted in excess of the perform of the inspection, with pupils at the all-girls school reported to have felt bullied by inspectors’ concerns about homosexuality and whether pupils had close friends from other faiths.

Sources at the Board of Deputies of British Jews stated members had not observed the school’s response to the report but that it “expected [Ofsted] to consider into account religious and cultural sensibilities when conducting inspections”.

An Ofsted spokeswoman denied the inspectorate was disproportionately targeting Jewish colleges. “Inspectors have to, even so, inquire inquiries that probe the extent to which pupils are ready for the next stage in their training or for employment and for daily life in present day Britain,” she explained.

The inspection report on Beis Yaakov mentioned there had been “major gaps in students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth. Students are not provided with enough options to understand about or understand men and women of other faiths or cultures.

“The college does not promote adequately students’ awareness and tolerance of communities which are different to their own. As a result, the college does not prepare college students adequately for life in present day Britain.”

The inspection induced disquiet in the Jewish neighborhood, soon after a recent Ofsted inspection led to the London Jewish secondary school JFS becoming downgraded from outstanding to “requires improvement” this 12 months, regardless of sixteen pupils gaining Oxbridge spots and a 99.9% GCSE pass fee.

The treatment of Jewish schools is in contrast to St Benedict’s Catholic school in Bury St Edmunds, at first downgraded by Ofsted soon after inspectors said college students have been not aware of the dangers of extremism and radicalisation, and questioned how pupils were ready for “life in contemporary Britain” – criticisms comparable to these manufactured against Trojan horse colleges. Ofsted later on withdrew the St Benedict’s report, saying that “insufficient account had been taken of the school’s context”.

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