Two Jewish schools have increased the number of places available for the coming year to meet rising demand.

Following a meeting of mainstream Jewish Schools, JCoSS in Barnet are offering an additional 30 places on 1 March, increasing the school’s year size to 210 students. JFS in Kenton, which is the largest Jewish secondary school in Europe, has said it is “in a position to offer an additional bulge class should the need arise”.

The move is part of a “community-wide strategy for increasing provision”, which is subject to approval and funding, according to Partnerships for Jewish Schools (PaJes). The proposal must receive support from Department of Education and the local authorities.

In a joint statement, JFS executive headteacher Deborah Lipkin and JCoSS headteacher Patrick Moriarty, said: “We are committed to increasing the capacity of Jewish school places for September 2017. Whilst we could never make certain that every Jewish student who wants a place in a Jewish school is guaranteed a place, the increased flexibility should drastically reduce the number of families who are unsuccessful.

“We will continue to work with our colleagues at other Jewish schools to effectively plan for the future. The level of communication between the Jewish schools is unprecedented and this bodes well for the future of the sector.”

The meeting was convened by PaJes, whose executive director, Rabbi David Meyer said: “It is a reflection of the determination and community spirit of our school leaders that a solution has been found that will see our schools collaborate in order to best ensure that every Jewish child has a place in a Jewish school.”

Meanwhile, JCoSS has proposed several changes to the curriculum, including a shorter working day Monday to Friday, languages to be optional at GCSE and a reduction in the overall number of GCSEs taken. A decision will be made in March and implemented in September, after consultation with staff, students and
parents.