It is a pity that you have been misled by the government into repeating facts which are distortions of the truth. Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School was fully compliant with the School Admissions Code for entrance in September 2008 as it stood in April 2007 ( JC, April 4). At that time there was no obligation to present the application form for scrutiny, as there were no regulations with which these forms had to adhere, save that there could be no request for money to pay for the application to be considered.
It is only the latest Code for Admissions in September 2009, enacted at the end of February 2008, that has had such stringent requirements regarding the necessity for politically correct phraseology in the application form, which we are alleged to have breached. Examples include no mention of mother or father, or request for sight of a ketubah (as this in itself might suggest that we are asking if the parents of the child are married) or of voluntary contributions.
Parents are exercising their option of applying to a faith school, enshrined in the freedom of choice which we all purportedly enjoy in this country but which seems to be under constant threat from the present government. Prospective parents are well aware that no child will ever be or has ever been refused admission to our school because they have been unable to pay voluntary contributions. To suggest otherwise is mischievous in the extreme by the government.
At the time of the receipt of the letter from the DCSF we were in discussion with Barnet to ensure that we would be fully compliant with the current School Admissions Code — a factor which has not been taken into account by the government and which you seem anxious to perpetuate. David Collins Acting Headteacher, Mathilda MarksKennedy School London NW7 Editor’s note: Mathilda Marks-Kennedy School was given the opportunity to comment on our story on schools admissions before publication, but declined to do so.
Ed Balls’s perpetration of another ferocious attack on faith schools is a clear danger signal we cannot afford to ignore.
Until Tony Blair moved Labour to the right and copied the Conserva- tives’ traditional support for religion and the religious, militant secularism was a leftist hallmark. With Mr Blair gone, that more supportive stance is clearly being reversed as Labour return to some of their bad old ways.
For too long, the Board of Deputies and the Chief Rabbi have adopted an attitude to Labour so obsequious that the latter now seem to think they can do what they like to us without fear of electoral retaliation — a delusion of which we must rapidly and firmly divest them for our own good.
To send Brown and Balls a suitably clear message, British Jewry must shun Labour at the ballot box; and our communal leaders must encourage other faith communities whose own schools have been similarly traduced to join with us in a nationwide multifaith boycott of Labour to drive the point home even more forcefully in defence of faith schools. Steven R Harvey Moseley Rd, Cheadle, Cheshire
Is it not strange that some of the very schools that Ed Balls is accusing of “forcing” parents to pay for places are the very same schools that this government has lauded in the past for their excellent exam and league table results? Anna Wiseman email@example.com