Plans have been unveiled for a new Modern Orthodox secondary school hoping to open in Barnet in 2018, amid talk of “huge demand” among parents.

During a meeting on Monday night, organisers behind Barkai College outlined ideas for the five- or six-form entry free school which they hope will be located in either Edgware or Mill Hill, although plans have not yet been submitted to Barnet Council.

“No sites have as yet been identified,” said one prospective parent. “They’ll be in trouble if they don’t get a permanent site.” 

Another said: “I’d be delighted if it came to fruition, there is huge demand in the area, but it’s not clear enough at the moment for it to be a proper option for a parent of a Year 4 child, like myself.”

She added: “If I’m being honest, they didn’t give me any confidence that they wouldn’t have the same problems we’ve had with some of the free school primaries… At the moment, it’s probably more of an option to clear places at JCoSS, rather than something I’d go for.” 

The project is being led by Eve Sacks, a chartered accountant and trustee of the UK arm of Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), with committee members including former JOFA board member Felicia Epstein and Rabbi Naftali Brawer, a trustee at Yavneh College and the former rabbi to Elstree and Borehamwood Synagogue, whose wife Dina leads JOFA-UK.