Inadequacies of a Jewish faith school exposed in a new report

Inadequacies of a Jewish faith school exposed in a new report June 26, 2018

Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School, a London state-aided Chasidic school headed by principal Rabbi Avraham Pinter, above, has fallen foul of the UK education watchdog, Ofted, for censoring textbooks, failing to teach about reproduction in science and doing too little to encourage respect for other groups of people.
According to this report, Ofsted said the school had “blanked out” pictures in books about major artists such as Picasso, redacted passages in Sherlock Holmes and would not allow girls to visit a gallery such as Tate Modern.
Pinter, says the report, had an “over-generous” view of its educational quality and governors did not hold him to account.
The inspection has already proved controversial before the report following a complaint from Humanists UK that the school had blotted out reference to homosexuals in a history textbook on the Nazis.
When inspectors, having carried out a routine visit, returned to the school a few days later to make further inquiries, Rabbi Pinter wrote to Prime Minister Theresa May saying that Charedi schools were being hounded by the government.
In its report published this week, Ofsted said:

Some pupils’ study of history in Year nine this year has been restricted to the Second World War, which is just one aspect of the key stage three history programme of study.
In English at key stage four, large sections of the GCSE course text book have been deemed as inappropriate and have been redacted.
In addition, texts such as ‘Sherlock Holmes’ have had sections of text redacted. In science, pupils are not permitted to study animal or human reproduction and other areas such as global warming are restricted. Leaders do not fulfil their statutory duty to provide sex and relationships education.

According to Ofsted:

Photographs portraying men and women on the same page, for instance in a crowd, had been redacted. Paragraphs in English comprehension passages had been redacted. Whole chapters in some texts had been stuck together. For instance, in a text on Elizabethan England, leaders had redacted sections relating to the queen’s supremacy and the Puritan challenge.

Photo issued by Humanists UK of a section on Roe v Wade, the US Supreme Court decision that made abortion a legal right is covered completely in a textbook, Understanding the Modern World, which has been redacted by Yesodey Hatorah Senior Girls’ School. Photo credit: Humanists UK/PA Wire. See source here.
The principal and governors did not adequately promote equality of opportunity or diversity, Ofsted said.

They do not encourage pupils’ respect for all other people, because they do not provide sufficient opportunities for pupils to learn about different faiths, experiences, cultures or perspectives.
Consequently, while there is an ethos of respect and tolerance for each other within the school environment, pupils have few opportunities to explore how these would extend to those who do not share their beliefs or faith.

While the school’s policy on respecting other people included those of different faiths or with a disability:

It does not encourage respect for all citizens living in modern Britain, because it does not acknowledge the existence of all groups of people with protected characteristics.

Protected characteristics under equality law include same-sex orientation and transgender status.
Pupils were not given opportunities:

To socialise with pupils from different communities, religions, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds or with boys. For example, pupils have no opportunity to compete in inter-school sport, participate in events or visit universities.

Responding to Ofsted’s findings, Humanists UK Education Campaigns Manager Jay Harman said:

This is what happens when religion is given almost untrammelled influence over the education of children. The purpose of a school is to educate its pupils, promote their development and well-being, and ensure that when they leave the school gates, they are prepared for life in a modern, diverse society.
The purpose of this school – and there are others like it – appears to be the entrenchment of a homophobic, misogynistic, intolerant, and isolationist ethos, designed to limit its pupils rather than allow them to flourish. It is a tragedy that so many children have been and are being subjected to schools of this kind. The Government must start closing them down.

The latest report highlights the clash of values between the secular education authorities and the Charedi establishment.
Ofsted’s approach has been criticised outside the Charedi community. The Reverend Giles Fraser, the Anglican priest and religious commentator, who visited the school in spring, commented in a blog:

This issue is not just about the Haredim. Ofsted has it in for Muslim schools in much the same way. Indeed, armed with so-called ‘British values’ they are gaining a reputation to have it in for all schools of a religious character. And the secularists are delighted that Ofsted is now doing their bidding.
From what I saw at Yesodet Hatorah, it is Speilman* and Ofsted who are behaving like the school bully. For it is Ofsted that has failed to understand the most basic feature of their own values: respect and toleration. Indeed, if British values cannot accommodate a peaceful and law abiding group like the Haredim then these values are little to be proud of.

* Fraser was referring to  Amanda Spielman, Head of Ofsted.

"Here's another one in case you haven't seen it yet:https://friendlyatheist.pat...Completely stark, staring bonkers!"

Brexit is God’s plan to crush ..."
"I think the citation that refers more accurately to POTUS 45, Jim Bakker, and all ..."

Donald Trump was sent by God ..."
"We used to visit Islay (Queen of the Hebrides) and enjoy tasting sessions. The peat ..."

Kristallnacht: Muslims extremists scream ‘death to ..."
"I think that is unfair. They should be giving the churches money to pay for ..."

New US tax law could extract ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • barriejohn

    The Nazis also indoctrinated a generation of children. Enough said.

  • Hartley

    Giles Fraser is a interfering bigmouthed blustering bullying bigot who thinks that because he is a Reverend his opinions have validity and virtue. We dont need him to muddy the waters with his pious virtueless opinion.
    Think on this. Avraham Pinter was once a child. A blank canvas on which a lovely pucture could have been created. But he has grown up to be a horrid creature who cannot interact constructively, sensibly or responsibly with the modern world because of what was banged into his skull by the education system he wants to propagate. Fill a childs head will divisive, mysogenistic, intolerant, isolationist, separatist, prejudiced, primitive, outmoded and dangerous ideology then see what you get. Battalions of useless wasters. The UK is becoming increasingly ghetoised and it is going to lead to big trouble. Its time to eradicate religious schools from our education system. Close down schools that propagate bad ideas and incubate horribly bigoted undereducated misfits.

  • Matthew Carr

    It could be worse, they could be demanding home-schooling which means that they would prefer to have their children educated by someone unqualified to perform the work.

  • Angela_K

    This is anthor example of the religious extremist mindset, bleat to government about faux persecution just because their sectarian school is expect to teach pupils a curriculum that will help them become worthwhile members of UK society. Haven’t the Jews had enough of living in separatist ghettoes back in the 30’s and 40’s.

  • L.Long

    Sorry Angela but they have to stay separate, you would not want us to soil our souls by looking at women’s bare legs and exposed bosoms!!!! We may go rapid and rape….sounds very muslin doesn’t it? Let’s see silly long beards & hair, hate women, can’t look at women, can’t be alone with women, hate gays…that’s why muslins and jews hate each other…they are the same but say gawd by different words!!! Also jew dudes can’t me too near strange women or they will start to notice how bad the jews smell!

  • Har Davids

    In what other ways is British society paying for the upkeep of these people? They usually have loads of children and no job-skills, so most of them may be on the dole, just like their cousins in Israel, where secular Jews hate supporting them. Maybe it’s time people shouldn’t be indefinitely supported for some of their life-choices, with the over-population we’re facing.

  • ray metcalfe

    Oh deer we are being persecuted again lets circle the wagons and blame those awful people who don’t believe what new do. I notice that they did not deny the complaints just bleat about persecution

  • Vanity Unfair

    And do you know what is even worse?
    When these children sit their exams they will be asked questions about the bits of the textbooks they were not allowed to read and they will fail the exams.
    That proves that they are victims of illegal religious discrimination.
    They must have separate exam papers that do not include the obliterated portions of the syllabus and the papers must be assessed and marked by religiously qualified Charedi (I’m sure that used to be Haredi) clergy.
    After all, that must result in a fair and comparable system of measuring attainment. Think of the children.

  • Shaun Whitfield

    Matthew Carr: I believe the school itself already employs unqualified teachers. Incidentally, the School’s Code of Conduct regarding behaviour out of school includes, inter alia, exclusion as a possible sanction if students access the internet, use electronic devices contrary to the school’s ethos participate in any behaviour that goes against the school’s ethos, including but not limited to activities such as bowling and ice-skating. So a visit to your local leisure centre could result in expulsion. And our taxes are paying for this nonsense.