Leeds closes in on sec­ondary

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JONATHAN KALMUS

LEEDS HAS moved closer to hav­ing its first Jewish sec­ondary school with a free school ap­pli­ca­tion reach­ing the final in­ter­view stage.

Jewish com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion lead­ers have been in­vited to the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion for clar­i­fi­ca­tion of plans for a 210-place sec­ondary school on the Brodet­sky Jewish Pri­mary cam­pus in Al­wood­ley.

The in­ter­view does not guar­an­tee ap­proval but is the last of four rig­or­ous stages. An al­most iden­ti­cal ap­pli­ca­tion failed last year, but the DFE in­vited a reap­pli­ca­tion af­ter civil ser­vants were crit­i­cised for re­ject­ing the plans with­out cit­ing spe­cific rea­sons. The ap­pli­ca­tion’s out­come will be an­nounced in July or Au­gust.

Dan Co­hen, the prime mover be­hind the pro­posal, said reach­ing the in­ter­view stage meant the DFE had “con­firmed what we know, which is there is no ques­tion our pro­posal was vi­able, sen­si­ble and needed.

“Un­like most other school ap­pli­ca­tions, we can speak to the vast ma­jor­ity of our core mar­ket.

“So far as we are con­cerned, the de­mand for a Jewish high school in Leeds is ro­bust.”

Mr Co­hen said a par­al­lel ap­pli­ca­tion for a vol­un­tary-aided Jewish sec­ondary via Leeds City Coun­cil was still be­ing pur­sued as an al­ter­na­tive to the free school ap­pli­ca­tion and was at an early con­sul­ta­tion stage.

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