Red­bridge gets com­mu­nity cam­pus

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community Life - BY LEON SY­MONS

RED­BRIDGE IS set to fol­low the lead of Jewish com­mu­ni­ties in Amer­ica and Canada by es­tab­lish­ing a com­mu­nity cam­pus in an ef­fort to staunch the flow of fam­i­lies leav­ing the area.

Meet­ings will be held in the com­ing weeks to be­gin the process of mov­ing Il­ford Jewish Pri­mary School to a new build­ing next to King Solomon High School on its Bark­ing­side site. The plan is for the schools to be joined by Jewish Care, which will move from its cur­rent home in the Sin­clair House com­mu­nity cen­tre.

The three have held pre­lim­i­nary talks and have been li­ais­ing with Red­bridge Coun­cil, which is sup­port­ing the scheme.

Red­bridge was a pri­or­ity of the Com­mis­sion on Jewish Schools, which rec­om­mended a Red­bridge Com­mu­nity Change Project. The body set up by the CJS to im­ple­ment the pro­pos­als has just ap­pointed Jonathan Gold­stein, from Ger­ald Ron­son’s Heron Group to chair the project. Now the Red­bridge schools have asked him to pre­side over the the work­ing party they have set up.

Il­ford Jewish Pri­mary chair Howard Kemp ex­plained: “We had re­solved to ask an in­de­pen­dent third party to make sure ev­ery­thing went smoothly, so it was right that Jonathan should take that po­si­tion for us. This is a very ex­cit­ing project in its very early stages. Red­bridge Coun­cil is with us be­cause it needs to free-up ex­tra school­ing space in the bor­ough.

“Il­ford Pri­mary will ben­e­fit,” he added, “be­cause it will have secondary school fa­cil­i­ties for sub­jects like sci­ence on its doorstep.

“The de­mo­graph­ics in Red­bridge have been a cause for con­cern,” he ac­knowl­edged. “This will be an at­trac­tive propo­si­tion for young fam­i­lies con­sid­er­ing some­where to live and will en­cour­age fam­i­lies to stay.”

Mr Kemp hoped the cam­pus project could be com­pleted in two-to-three years but there were is­sues to be de­cided about how the scheme would be funded.

The school was still await­ing a de­ci­sion from the schools’ ad­ju­di­ca­tor about whether it can go down from two forms to one form of en­try.

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