Organisers behind a new Jewish secondary school will submit their application next week, following a turnout of almost 100 prospective parents at a meeting on Tuesday night.
The team behind Kavanah College – a five-form entry free school adhering to the United Synagogue ethos – say there is “overwhelming demand” in the South Hertfordshire, north-west Barnet and north Harrow areas and they will formally submit their forms to the Department of Education for a 2017 opening.
Maurice Ashkenazi-Bakes, speaking on behalf of Kavanah College, said the impetus to set up a new school stemmed from recent policy changes at Yavneh College to end the “feeder school” status of both Hertsmere Jewish Primary and Clore Shalom, as well as to meet the growing demand for more Jewish secondary school places in the area.
“Many parents were left high and dry due to the policy changes and we want to look after them. We need to make this happen,” said Ashkenazi-Bakes.
The team have identified three possible locations for the new school.
Meanwhile, a second bid for a Jewish free secondary school will also be made by Barkai College to the DofE next week.
Eve Sacks, chair of the Barkai team, said they plan to “create a school with an inclusive Modern Orthodox ethos”, which would accept students from Hertfordshire to Westminster.
The team will present their vision to parents later this autumn at open meetings in Hertfordshire, Hampstead and Edgware.
Kavanah College and Barkai Collge have discussed the possibility of merging their applications, but as yet remain separate, due to differences over the proposed school ethos.
Rabbi David Meyer, executive director of Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJes), said: “It is a credit to our community and a testament to the dedication of both the Barkai College team and the Kavanah College team that two substantive applications for a Jewish free secondary school are being prepared for submission to the Department of Education this month.
“PaJeS will continue to help support both parties and work together with them with a focus on consolidating their plans into one submission.”