School’s fury on fund­ing

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY ROBYNROSEN

EDG­WARE JEWISH Pri­mary chiefs are en­raged with the gov­ern­ment over the with­drawal of crit­i­cal fund­ing to progress its tran­si­tion from a pri­vate to state school.

Head­teacher Sara Keen con­fronted Schools Sec­re­tary Ed Balls at a con­fer­ence for faith schools last week to de­mand an­swers.

Last De­cem­ber, the school ap­plied to the Depart­ment of Chil­dren, Schools and Fam­i­lies for cap­i­tal fund­ing to­wards a new build­ing. This was through the £327 mil­lion Stan­dards and Di­ver­sity Fund, of which £138 mil­lion was ear­marked for in­de­pen­dent schools seek­ing aided sta­tus.

How­ever, the depart­ment had un­ex­pect­edly stopped the fund­ing, leav­ing the school’s ap­pli­ca­tion on hold.

Ms Keen told Mr Balls that the school was in “limbo” and asked how the depart­ment would now sup­port EJPS and oth­ers in a sim­i­lar plight.

He re­sponded that the with­drawn money was needed else­where dur­ing the eco­nomic down­turn, but the is­sue would be re­con­sid­ered dur­ing the next com­pre­hen­sive spending re­view in 2011.

He said: “We said two years ago that we would sup­port schools that want to en­ter the state sys­tem from the in­de­pen­dent sys­tem. We want to make that hap­pen and noth­ing has changed.”

Gov­er­nors’ chair Eddy Breuer-Weil said the school would now have to find the money within the com­mu­nity. “We are dis­ap­pointed that the fund is no longer avail­able but it has given us new re­solve to fundraise from other sources from both within and out­side the Jewish com­mu­nity.

“EJPS is thriv­ing. The school only be­gan three years ago and we have been over­sub­scribed ev­ery year. We own our own site and have plan­ning per­mis­sion for a state-of-the-art new fa­cil­ity. We plan to re­build the school at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.”

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