Jewish schools’ top score
GOVERNMENT GCSE league tables compiled to a new standard which includes English and maths have blown away the notion that secular subjects suffer at Jewish schools because more time is devoted to Jewish studies.
While the new tables saw some previously top schools drop to lower levels, Jewish secondary schools maintained, and in many cases improved, their standing against the country’s best.
They saved their most outstanding achievements for the value-added section, which measures how much progress pupils have made between the ages of 11 and 16. Here, half a dozen schools finished comfortably in the top five per cent in the country. They were JFS, Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls in Stamford Hill, Beis Yaakov High in Salford, King David High in Liverpool, Hasmonean High in London and King Solomon High in Barkingside. King David High School, Manchester, scored just outside the top band, though it finished higher than all six on average points per pupil.
The achievements were hailed by Simon Goulden, director of the Agency for Jewish Education. He said: “No matter how you cut it, Jewish secondary schools do exceptionally well.
“With the exception of any independent schools, they all have a completely comprehensive intake from all sectors of society.”
In the Jewish “league table”, the private Immanuel College finished fourth on average points per pupil, behind Menorah High School for Girls in Dollis Hill, Lubavitch Senior Girls in Hackney and King David High in Manchester, followed by the six with the very high value-added scores. Joshua Rowe of King David High told the JC: “The school is querying the DFES figures of 1.8 per cent special-needs and special-action-plan pupils. We have around 10 per cent in this category and not 1.8 per cent. This figure might explain the relatively low contextual value-added score for the school.”
The performance of JFS in both tables, with and without English and maths, put it in the unique position of being in the top one per cent for both.
JFS head Dame Ruth Robins praised the new tables, saying they were “both more rigorous academically and more relevant to employers”.