JCoSS has announced that they will be creating an extra class in time for September 2018 to “take some pressure off” the Jewish community in terms of school spaces.
Patrick Moriarty, the headteacher of the pluralist Jewish secondary school in New Barnet, said a “record number of applications” prompted the move, meaning that the extra 30 places will take the 2018/19 cohort up to 210 students.
“We hope it will go some way to help anxious families feel a little less concerned,” said Moriarty. “We have begun careful planning for the additional numbers and we are confident that it will be a smooth transition.”
Parents struggling to get their children into a Jewish secondary in Barnet were last year told to send them to Whitefield School in Cricklewood instead, but take-up has been patchy at best.
The recommendation by Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJeS), a division of the Jewish Leadership Council, was made after the Whitefield headteacher agreed to offer Jewish Studies.
News this week of extra JCoSS places will have soothed parents’ concerns, as Moriarty said the school had “had another record number of applications this year and in particular a very high number of first choice applications in proportion to the number of places we had to offer”.
The Governors’ decision “to alleviate some pressure in the community and offer 30 additional lottery places” comes on top of the school’s latest boost, with the opening of the new Dorfman Wing.
“This has allowed a wider curriculum for our sixth-form students for A-Level and vocational courses,” said a confident Moriarty. “Our results speak for themselves and we are delighted that we are able to give 1,300 Jewish children an excellent academic, pluralist Jewish education that our community deserves.”
In addition, the school is currently consulting on the admissions policy for 2019/20, with the main change proposed being the removal of feeder schools. The deadline for responses is 16 January 2018.