Schools blast Balls
ligious studies or security — as long as requests are “kept entirely separate from the admissions process”.
The headteachers and the chairmen of governors of all 39 state-aided Jewish schools in England were invited to yesterday’s meeting with Mr Knight.
Jon Benjamin, the Board of Deputies chief executive, said that trust between Jewishschoolsandthegovernmenthad been eroded. “Jewish schools perform exceptionally well, by any measure of success, and many head teachers and governors will have formed the uncomfortable view that they are being specifically targeted for attention.”
Rabbi Abraham Pinter, principal of the strictly Orthodox state-aided Yesodey Hatorah Girls High in Hackney, said: “We need a lot of convincing that it was just a coincidence that two of the three boroughs selected by the department — Barnet and Manchester — just happen to have the highest and second highest number of Jewish schools.”
Educational philanthropist Benjamin Perl said that the message had gone out that either Jewish schools were “enriching themselves or were excluding poorer pupils. Nothing could be further from the truth.”
Joshua Rowe, chairman of governors of Manchester’s King David High School, criticised “naming and shaming. You are not dealing with gangsters, but people who give their time for the benefit of the community.”