Students raising hands in the classroom

Students raising hands in the classroom

Proposals have been unveiled for a new Jewish secondary school in north London, writes Justin Cohen

Organisers hope the new free school – to be known as Kedem High – will open in the borough of Barnet next year.

The project is being put forward by the Nekadma Trust in partnership with Lilac Sky Outstanding Education Services. “Our vision is to open a Free School with an Orthodox Jewish faith designation under the aegis of the Chief Rabbi,” they announced in a letter inviting stakeholders to a public meeting next week.

Several pupils were left without a place for the current academic year, with experts warning the pressure on existing places is set to grow further. Jewish News revealed last year that Barnet Council was exploring proposals which could see an additional 100 places at existing secondary schools going forward.

However, a number of concerns have been raised about the latest proposal, with observers claiming there has been a lack of consultation with other Jewish schools to date.

Free schools are required to take half its intake not based on faith and there are concerns that Kedem could struggle to fill even 50 percent of places with Jewish pupils.

Lilac Sky chief executive Trevor Averre-Beeson and Nekadma Trust founder members Andrew Rotenberg and Rabbi David Lister of Edgware United shul said: “The school’s ethos will provide students with a truly outstanding integrated secular and Jewish curriculum. Kedem High School will meet the increasing demand for Jewish secondary school places in the Borough.”

They added: “The public meeting will set out the status of our current plans, give an update towards progress on opening in September 2017 and provide information on admissions.”