On extra places
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.