Yeshivot may be un­der threat in crack­down

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY SI­MON ROCKER

SOME JEWISH re­li­gion schools could face clo­sure af­ter the head of Of­sted Sir Michael Wil­shaw called for the au­thor­i­ties to act against un­reg­is­tered schools.

In a let­ter to Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Nicky Mor­gan, he ex­pressed con­cern that “not enough is be­ing done to stop this il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity”.

Sir Michael said that Of­sted had found 15 un­reg­is­tered schools since Septem­ber 2014, al­though he named only one.

An Of­sted spokesman said that “we have had con­cerns raised about un­reg­is­tered schools ca­ter­ing for Mus­lim pupils as well as Jewish pupils, and also pro­vi­sion with no re­li­gious char­ac­ter”.

Ac­cord­ing to the law, in­sti­tu­tions teach­ing chil­dren un­der the age of 16 must be reg­is­tered.

The Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion has a list of 23 Ortho­dox in­sti­tu­tions in Stam­ford Hill, north Lon­don, which it be­lieves are un­reg­is­tered yeshivot.

Sir Michael said that the “full force of the law” should be brought against in­sti­tu­tions op­er­at­ing out­side the law. “Lo­cal author­ity of­fi­cers ac­knowl­edge the prob­lem, but too of­ten use the ex­cuse of bu­reau­cracy, leg­is­la­tion or lack of re­sources as a rea­son for in­ac­tion,” he wrote.

In re­sponse to Sir Michael’s let­ter, Ms Mor­gan said that “since 2010 we have taken ro­bust steps to tackle un­reg­is­tered schools and im­prove safe­guard­ing. How­ever we agree with Sir Michael that more needs to be done.”

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