DfE ponders future of Belz Hackney schools
THE DEPARTMENT for Education is considering the future of two Chasidic schools in Hackney following emergency Ofsted inspections it requested.
Beis Malka and Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass were at the centre of controversy in the spring after leaders of the Belz sect threatened to ban pupils whose mothers drove them to school as it breached traditions of modesty.
The DfE said this week: “We are currently considering Ofsted’s report and our next steps. Independent schools must meet the Independent School Standards and those that fail to do so must improve or close.”
Ofsted only inspects independent schools at the direction of the DfE. A spokesperson for the inspectorate explained that this might be because of “particular concerns.
“Ofsted must report on a school’s compliance with the standards in any inspection of an independent school. Part One of the standards, quality of education, includes a requirement for a school’s curriculum to encourage ‘respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Act’.”