JFS will decide soon
JFS IS planning to decide within a fortnight whether there is enough demand to justify opening an extra class this September.
It says, along with other schools in north-west London, that it is trying to determine how many children on waiting lists have been left without any Jewish school after the first round of offers was made last week.
A spokesman for JFS said “within the next two weeks we’ll know where we stand and then we’ll be able to announce what the outcome is”.
While JCoSS this year expanded its Year-seven entry from 180 to 210 for 2017, JFS promised to add an extra 30 places if demand warranted it.
Victor Arotsky, whose daughter, Annie, a pupil at Hasmonean Primary School, is one of those without a place after applying to JFS, Hasmonean High and Yavneh College, said: “We’re slightly anxious but not too worried because we know there are multiple rounds of offers and there is talk of having an extra class.”
Kirsten Jowett, headteacher of Wolfson Hillel Primary School, was aware of 10 children in a similar situation in her school.
She said she was trying to reassure parents it “should be all ok in the end” as places open up at schools over the next few months.
Speaking to colleagues in other Jewish primaries, she believed the picture to be broadly similar to last year.
But Susy Stone, headteacher of the Progressive Akiva School, which sends around two-thirds of its children to JCoSS, said the number of children without a place had increased to three or four this year. “Last year we had one child who didn’t get a place in the first round of offers but got in the second round.”
JCoSS had reduced the number of children guaranteed places from feeder schools such as Akiva this year, she pointed out.
Between now and June, Jewish schools will hold several more offer rounds as rejected places become free. It is not known how many families with a place at one school will be hoping to switch to another.
Last year JCoSS and JFS alone offered nearly a hundred places between them after the first round. Neither opened a bulge class in 2016 (although Yavneh College did so just for that year).
Within two weeks we’ll know where we stand’