Pupils in dark about other religions, say inspectors
A CHASIDIC school involved in a controversy over women drivers has been criticised by inspectors.
Ofsted said that boys at Talmud Torah Machzikei Hadass in Hackney, northeast London, run by the Belz Chasidim, did not know enough about other faiths, while the school’s commitment to the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) leads it to disregard provisions relating to same-sex orientation in the Equality Act.
The Belz girls school, Beis Malka, in Hackney, was also criticised by inspectors last year.
Both schools —previously ranked as good by Ofsted — received emergency inspections last summer after Belz lead- ers proposed barring pupils of mothers who drove cars on the grounds that this contravened traditions of modesty.
Inspectors said Machzikei Hadass recognised “fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and advocates respect and tolerance of those with different faiths”.
But pupils were taught “very little” about other faiths and did not know enough about festivals celebrated in other religions.
Although the inspection was carried out in July, it was published only on Monday after enquiries by the JC.
A school spokesman said: “We were not disappointed with the report and are working on an action plan to address the few areas of concern.”