The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT&ANALYSIS -

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 si­mon.wise­man1@bt­in­ter­

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