Of­sted tells ‘in­ad­e­quate’ school: must do bet­ter

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY - BY SI­MON ROCKER

OF­STED IN­SPEC­TORS have strongly crit­i­cised a Yid­dish-speak­ing Chasidic school in Stam­ford Hill for pro­vid­ing an “in­ad­e­quate” ed­u­ca­tion.

Tal­mud To­rah Chaim Meirim Wiznitz — a pri­mary school for 242 boys aged mainly from five to 13 which is as­so­ci­ated with the Vish­nitz sect — was in­structed to make im­prove­ments af­ter an emer­gency in­spec­tion in Jan­uary.

But in­spec­tors who re­turned to the school in June found that pupils were still not re­ceiv­ing proper tuition in sec­u­lar sub­jects.

“Te a c h i n g i s in­ad­e­quate and… pupils do not have ac­cess to a suf­fi­ciently broad and bal­anced cur­ricu­lum,” Of­sted re­ported. “Not all pupils have the op­por­tu­nity to learn English as an ad­di­tional lan­guage, as re­quired,

In­spec­tors found a lack of proper tuition in sec­u­lar sub­jects

given that English is not the first lan­guage of the pupils and it is not the lan­guage of in­struc­tion through­out the school. This means that pupils are not pre­pared suf­fi­ciently to be able to make progress in their con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion, nor for the op­por­tu­ni­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of adult life.”

Boys in year one and two did not study sec­u­lar sub­jects, while sec­u­lar classes for those in year five to eight amounted to just an hour-and-a-half out of a 10-hour school day. “Lack of time and the lim­ited re­sources used mean that pupils do not make the progress they should in ei­ther math­e­mat­ics or English.”

Re­li­gious stud­ies did pro­vide some in­sight into other sub­jects, such as his­tory and ge­og­ra­phy, and the school had be­gun mak­ing changes so that all pupils re­ceived a bal­anced ed­u­ca­tion.

“New teach­ing has re­cently been in­tro­duced to en­sure that pupils learn about Bri­tish in­sti­tu­tions and val­ues,” Of­sted noted.

“This in­cludes, for ex­am­ple, the role of the monar­chy, the way govern­ment works, the im­por­tance of the rule of law and an at­ti­tude of tol­er­ance.” But there were no PE classes.

Of­sted also noted that the school’s lead­ers and own­ers were in­suf­fi­ciently aware of in­de­pen­dent school reg­u­la­tions and had failed to carry out all the nec­es­sary checks to en­sure that all staff were suit­able to teach chil­dren.

A school rep­re­sen­ta­tive de­clined to com­ment.

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