On ex­tra places

The Jewish Chronicle - - EDUCATION -

One par­ent, whose son was un­suc­cess­ful with ap­pli­ca­tions to JCoSS and JFS last week, said he would be “happy to ac­cept” the place of­fered at a lo­cal non-Jewish school.

Matt Plen, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Ma­sorti Ju­daism, said. “We’re lucky we have re­ally good schools on our doorstep.” But if a place came up at JCoSS, where his son Micha re­mains on the wait­ing list, “we’ll con­sider it.”

De­spite its ex­pan­sion, JCoSS has a wait­ing list of more than a hun­dred chil­dren whose par­ents put it as first choice. The school en­joyed a record num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions, up from 695 in 2016 to more than 700 this year.

A JCoSS spokesman said: “Al­though there are still a large num­ber of stu­dents on our wait­ing list, it is very early days and we ex­pect a lot of move­ment in the com­ing weeks.”

The ex­tra class for 2017 was “a very sig­nif­i­cant and nec­es­sary ad­di­tion for school places in the com­mu­nity”.

The num­ber of those ac­cepted as sib­lings of pupils had risen from 96 to 103. But there was tougher com­pe­ti­tion for the 18 places JCoSS al­lo­cated to those liv­ing clos­est to the school; whereas last year the fur­thest ap­pli­cant awarded a place on that ba­sis last year lived 1.78 miles away, this year it was only 0.99 miles.

JCoSS said 56 places this year had been awarded through ran­dom lot­tery.

Ac­cord­ing to Bar­net Coun­cil, 158 out of the 180 places at JCoSS last year went to those who put it first choice, with 12 sec­ond-pref­er­ence ap­pli­cants and three, third. But the vast ma­jor­ity of en­trants to Has­monean in 2016 put it as first choice — 184 out of 190.

One mother of a child with­out a place at a Jewish sec­ondary, who did not wish to be named, said: “It is the sec­ond time it has hap­pened be­cause he orig­i­nally didn’t get a place at pri­mary school. He only got a place there in the sec­ond year and one of the rea­sons we moved him to a Jewish pri­mary was we thought it make eas­ier to get into a Jewish sec­ondary school.”

She said she was try­ing to main­tain “a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude” and “not let anx­i­ety creep into our son”.

Mean­while, the pri­vate Im­manuel Col­lege ex­pects its en­try for 2017 to ex­ceed 80, as last year. Fam­i­lies of­fered places were asked to pay a non-re­fund­able de­posit of £2,000 by Monday this week, oth­er­wise of­fers would go­ing to those on its wait­ing list.

Even if JFS opts for an ex­tra class, places will not au­to­mat­i­cally go to those with­out a Jewish school; they will still have to be al­lo­cated in ac­cor­dance with the school’s en­try pol­icy.

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