Ad­mis­sions-pol­icy re­port to ex­on­er­ate schools

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY LEON SY­MONS

JEWISH SCHOOLS are ex­pected to be given a clean bill of health over ad­mis­sions poli­cies when a new na­tional re­port is pub­lished next month.

The re­port, by Sir Philip Hunter, chief schools ad­ju­di­ca­tor, was com­piled af­ter a con­tro­versy over ad­mis­sions to faith schools was sparked in April by schools sec­re­tary Ed Balls. Mr Balls claimed that Jewish state-main­tained schools in Bar­net and Greater Manch­ester were wrongly seek­ing con­tri­bu­tions from prospec­tive par­ents and ask­ing ques­tions about mar­i­tal sta­tus that broke ad­mis­sions codes.

Last week at a con­fer­ence on ad­mis­sions, Sir Philip re­vealed that half the coun­try’s faith schools had flouted the code, though many, he con­ceded, were tech­ni­cal breaches.

Board of Deputies’ chief ex­ec­u­tive Jon Ben­jamin told the JC that af­ter Mr Balls com­ments, Jewish schools had re­solved any prob­lems: “This re­port fol­lows the study, ear­lier this year, that had al­ready shown that a few Jewish — and non-Jewish — schools had in­cluded ques­tions that should not have been asked as part of the ad­mis­sions process. We worked… to help in­ter­ested par­ties un­der­stand how the then ad­mis­sions code could ap­ply to ad­dress all of their con­cerns.

“Sig­nif­i­cantly, the new code that came out of that con­sul­ta­tion process means… there is likely to be a much bet­ter ap­pre­ci­a­tion of whether a par­tic­u­lar schools is right for a child.”

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